3 Financial Myths that Couples Should Ignore

Tue, Jul 24, 2018

Financial Advice

Although it shouldn’t really be possible, money can often be a great destroyer of love and the relationship between two people.

This fascinating topic has recently been explored here, with the Greater Australia Bank revealing that 82% of respondents consider money as a source of tension in their relationship. Parents were apparently twice as likely to answer yes to this question, which seems to reaffirms the fiscal pressures associated with raising children.

However, the research also debunked a number of popular financial myths for couples. Here are some examples:


Men Continue to Pay for Dates in Most Instances

There remains a general perception that money pay for dates more often than not when out with their partners, but this is increasingly inaccurate in a generation where women are set to become the pre-eminent breadwinners.

In fact, most couples (49%) tend to split the bill now, which seems to reflect the fact that women are undoubtedly earning more while a noticeable gender pay gap remains. Conversely, just 7% of women foot the entire bill on date night, although we should expect this number to increase incrementally in the future.

Ultimately, couples should ignore such stereotypical misconceptions, and instead focusing on managing and deploying their finances in a way that suits their own, unique circumstances. It’s also important to distribute money in a way that both parties are comfortable with, so open lines of communication are key.


Women Expect to Pay More for Weddings

When it comes to weddings, the survey debunked the common and extremely generalised perception that women expect to spend more on the big day.

In fact, women expect to spend just $12,446 on average when funding a wedding. In contrast, men believed that they would spend a total of $13,705, representing an increase of $1,260 between the two genders.

However, these expectations fall well short of average wedding costs, with ceremonies now costing in excess of £27,000 in the UK and a whopping $65,482 in Australia.

This suggests that while men may have a greater grasp of the costs involved with modern day weddings, both males and females are likely to spend far more than they initially envisaged when tying the knot.

If we assume that women do understand the average cost of a wedding, however, it’s arguable that many are simply willing to spend less and keep more cash reserve for savings and purchasing a property.


Pooling Financial Resources Negates Financial Tension

This is arguably the most fascinating aspect of the study, as it suggests that couples will struggle to find the right balance when managing their money.

According to historical beliefs, pooling resources and opening a joint bank account was considered to be the best way of managing cash and easing financial tension.

While there may be some truth to this, however, the situation is less clear-cut than this and requires some further consideration.

This issue is compounded by the fact that 45% of respondents claimed they would only feel comfortable opening a joint bank account once they’d already tied the knot, leaving unwed couples struggling to strike the ideal balance.

As a result this (and somewhat unsurprisingly), our featured study found that couples who pool some of their resources tend to have less conflict surrounding money, particularly when they retain some of their income for their own personal endeavours.

Once again, this may change for each individual couple, but pooling money for shared bills and responsibilities makes genuine sense on all levels.

Interestingly, we found couples who keep some of their finances together and some separate were less likely to say that money causes tension in their relationship. What’s more, 45% of Australians surveyed would feel most comfortable opening a joint bank account once they are married.

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