Money matters more to women than men

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Women are more concerned than men when it comes to the health of their partner's bank account, with 45 percent of ladies admitting financial weakness is a relationship breaker, compared to one in three men.

Being in debt was a deal breaker for half of the respondents in the research conducted by British consumer website MoneySupermarket.

"While many may like to flash the cash to entice their other half, it seems being sensible with finances, having a secure job and a good grasp of money may improve your chances of finding Mr or Miss Right," Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySupermarket said in a statement.

One in 10 couples keeps a partner in the dark when it comes to discussing money, according to the research, while a fifth admitted to keeping a secret stash of cash hidden from a loved one.

Despite the challenges money may bring to a relationship, more Australian couples are taking the plunge and opening shared accounts than ever before.

Roy Morgan research has found 22 percent of account holders have a joint bank account only, while 19 percent maintain their own account while also having a joint account.

Michelle Hutchison, spokeswoman for RateCity, said opening a shared account with a partner can be an ideal way to test the financial relationship before taking on a larger commitment such as a mortgage.

"A good example of a tip-toe approach to shared finances might be to open a joint transaction account for shared everyday expenses such as rent, food or utility bills," she said.

"Joint accounts work best when you share common goals and expenses."

For one couple in their 20s, Mitch Lees and his partner Annabel Bonisch, combining finances is helping them towards a common goal.

"We are trying to save money and pay off debt. We bought a car and are also paying off debts from travelling overseas," Lees told News Ltd.

"It works out the best this way; we live off my income and save Annabel's wage."

Nowadays, opening a cash account is incredibly easy, according Hutchison, thanks to the internet and a proliferation of comparison tools, such as RateCity, which allows you to compare and apply from hundreds of different accounts.

"Most cash accounts, such as online savings accounts and term deposits, are relatively flexible with their options and can offer great interest returns. The key is to shop around for the best cash account that suits you and your partner's circumstances," she said.

Furthermore, combining incomes can present potential tax benefits so ask a tax professional for further advice.

Of course, many couples do a brilliant job at managing their combined wealth and overall, combining finances doesn't have to be a source for argument in a relationship, said Hutchison.

"Once you crunch the numbers with your partner, linking finances will seem less like a leap of faith and more a route to greater economic wealth."

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