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Money conversations you must have with your partner

Money conversations you must have with your partner

Whether you’re planning your wedding or you’re about to go on your first date, there are a few questions you need to get out of the way to help determine whether you are compatible and share similar financial priorities.

  1. Who pays on a first date?

A question for the ages, and one worth discussing before you’re left in an awkward bill stand-off at the end of the date.

RateCity research found that three quarters (71.2 per cent) of men will pick up the entire bill, with a third of women (30.3 per cent) expecting them to!

However, it may not come down to gender stereotypes, with one in three people earning $30k or less saying they expect to pick up the bill on a first date. Compare this to a stingy one in five earning $150k or more who expect their date to pay. 

  1. Have you ever been bankrupt?

Bankruptcy is an issue that can impact more than just your credit score. For the sake of transparency, it may be worth discussing your financial failings alongside you triumphs with your partner. However, some people are quick to judge their partner’s financial history.

Women are more concerned about a partner’s financial history than men, with nearly 60 per cent admitting they wouldn’t marry someone who had been bankrupt. Fewer than half of men shared this same concern.

Perhaps the older we get the less judgemental we are, as two thirds of millennials say they wouldn’t marry someone who had been bankrupt, but more than half of baby boomers would still say “I do”.

  1. How will we divide the financial decision-making?

Whether it’s choosing who will pay the bills or deciding when to buy a new car, ideally, you’d want to discuss all major financial decisions before they’re made and divide it all equally. However, for many people having one set “decision-maker” is an important issue. 

RateCity research found that 65.9 per cent of men believe they are the financial decision-maker in their household. But only 9.9 per cent of women think that their partners call the shots.

  1. How much debt do you have?

Much like the topic of bankruptcy, many Aussie couples may be concerned about the level of debt their partner has, or is capable of accumulating. Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) credit card debt clock currently shows that Australians owe $32 billion in debt – an average of $4,200 per card holder.

If one member of the relationship is more prudent, then the level of debt their partner has may be of concern, particularly when it comes to marriage or sharing finances.

RateCity research found that around half of Aussies say money has caused an issue with a loved one, and 41 per cent of divorced couples say money caused significant issue with a partner.

  1. What should we save for?

Would you rather invest in property or in experiences? Talking to your partner about what you want to save for will help you to determine your priorities. If one party is ready to settle down and buy a house and the other is planning on blowing their savings on a 3 month Eurotrip, you may not be on the same page.

If you’re both interested in combining your savings, it’s worth comparing high interest savings accounts with competitive features and low fees. As these types of accounts pay higher interest than everyday accounts, they help you reach your savings goals sooner. 

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