Australians who set financial targets as part of their New Year’s resolutions can expect a better love life in 2020, according to ANZ.
A survey conducted by the bank found 76 per cent of people who included financial goals in their resolutions described their relationships as either ‘good’, or fantastic’.
But the same research showed people were more likely to spend their time exercising or doing household chores than organising their finances.
Those numbers suggest finances take a “back-seat” to other personal goals, according to psychologist and founder of the Positivity Institute Dr Suzy Green.
“We know money is a leading cause of stress and arguments in relationships,” Dr Green said.
“Yet people overlook the benefit that focusing on their financial well-being can have on their romantic life and overall well-being.”
Money management was a higher priority for younger Australians, with 52 per cent of Millennials and 54 per cent of Generation X saying they were more likely to prioritise their finances, compared with 44 per cent of Baby Boomers.
Money a sore point for relationships
In January, Relationships Australia – a government-funded counselling and support organisation – found most Australians aren’t concerned by a prospective partner’s finances when starting a relationship.
Additionally, Relationships Australia’s research found only 36 per cent of men and 31 per cent of women discussed how their incomes would be shared as part of a couple.
A “significant majority” of people (69 per cent of men and 74 per cent of women) had not discussed how they would divide their finances if the relationship ended, according to Relationships Australia.
But failure to discuss financial matters with a partner was a “recurring theme” among couples that were going through a break-up or recently split, according to Westpac’s Finance and Separation Report.
“Planning a future with someone you love is, in many cases, as much a financial commitment as a personal one,” Westpac financial expert Kate Holloway said.
“Being informed is empowering and puts you in a much better position for success, no matter what relationship stage you are in.
“Our research shows couples are more financially compatible if they regularly speak openly about their finances and, encouragingly, 43 per cent of Australians in committed relationships are doing just that.”
Two-thirds of Australians considering separating from their partner were, however, reluctant to leave out of fear they would have to financially start over again.
Carelessness a concern
A study by Greater Bank found 95 per cent of Australians found it frustrating when their partner was careless with money.
Being told how to spend their money was another major peeve, which 92 per cent of people found frustrating.
Borrowing money from other people, being secretive about money issues, and lending money to other people rounded out the top five most frustrating behaviours.