The COVID pandemic has firmly moved personal finance discussions up the agenda of Aussie couples, with weekly financial conversations and New Year resolutions to drive savings during 2021, according to new research from MyState Bank.
The Love & Money Survey: COVID Edition, was commissioned by MyState Bank, and surveyed over 1,003 Australians in a relationship about their personal finances.
The survey found that Australians have become more economical in relationships, with nearly half (45%) of the couples sharing accounts and expenses, compared to just a quarter (25%) in 2020, and a huge six in ten couples (64%) sharing an equal role in financial decision-making. It also found that only 29% of people will be buying their other half a gift this Valentine’s Day.
Savings and budgeting are high on couple’s agendas this year, with just under half (40%) having kicked off 2021 with the resolution of building their savings. This is after a quarter of people (24%) said they were able to build their savings over the last year, and 14% created a budget and stuck to it.
Commenting on the findings, Heather McGovern, MyState Bank General Manager of Digital and Marketing, said that the findings were a positive sign that the pandemic has brought finances further up the agenda for couples.
“The pandemic has meant that we are now more focused on finances than ever before. Out of the turmoil in the last year, the fact that couples are having more open and frequent discussions about their personal finances, and taking steps to secure a healthy financial future, is only a positive.”
Some of us still secretly saving
Despite the positivity, some couples still have a way to go. The Love & Money Survey found that 15% of couples still have separate accounts and do not share expenses, a third (30%) believe that they are the maker of financial decisions in their households, and 43% of people see themselves as savers but only 34% feel that their partner is a saver.
More surprisingly, 14% have a secret savings account that their partner is not aware of, and a third (33%) have lied to their partner about the price they paid for something.
“Make 2021 the year to tackle any of your financial goals. We encourage all Australians to revisit their finances, make a budget, and set up a financial date night each month to talk through what needs to happen. Keep the discussions going and work through your goals together,” added Ms McGovern.
MyState Bank offers three top tips to ease the money worries on Valentine’s Day or other special occasions:
About the Love & Money Survey: COVID Edition
A nationally representative survey conducted by Pureprofile of 1,003 Australians in a relationship between 2 and 4 February 2021.