With a divorce rate of just 2.1 per per 1,000 inhabitants, many would describe Australia as a sanctuary for matrimony and spiritual union. After all, the corresponding rate for the Maldives is 10.97 per 1000 residents, which seems strange given that this is established as one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world.
Despite this, Australia is not impervious to relationship or marriage issues, with many of these caused by finance. This is something that was recently explored in a survey commissioned by Greater Bank, which canvassed the opinion of more than 1,500 Aussies and solicited their thoughts on love, marriage and money.
We’ll explore this below, while offering some key money management tips for couples who have tied the knot.
Consider Opening a Joint Bank Account
One of the key findings of the study was that 42% of people who are currently divorced or separated cited finances as a contributing factor to the decline of their relationship.
However, it was also discovered that couples who pooled at least some of their financial resources are less inclined to experience financial tensions, and in this respect opening a joint bank account can be an extremely positive move.
This account should be used to pool incomes and pay bills, while it’s crucial that you share the burden fairly and equally where possible. Each individual will then be able to retain some of their monthly income, which can then be used more freely over time.
Interestingly, 45% of respondents claimed that they would only feel comfortable opening a joint bank account once they were married, so tying the knot represents the ideal time to pool resources and become financially co-dependent.
Understand the Impact of Having Children
Another interesting aspect of the survey is that parents are nearly twice as likely to cite financial tension as a key relationship issue than married couples who have yet to have children.
In fact, 82% of parents have asserted that finances caused significant issues in their relationship, while just 42% of childless couples have made the same claim.
With this in mind, it’s imperative that you understand the financial impact of having children, while proactively managing your finances and ensuring that your budget reflects your brand new circumstances.
This is also indicative of how change of any disruption can impact on the financial security of an existing relationship, so your ability to adapt remains pivotal.
Manage Expectations When it Comes to Gifts
Not only do your financial circumstances change as your relationship evolves, but romantic unions are also likely to become more staid the longer that they progress.
This is reflected by the amount that people spend on birthday and anniversary goods for their loved ones, which declines markedly over the course of 20 years or more. While couples are liable to spend well in excess of $200 on a first anniversary present, for example, this falls to little more than $100 21 years later.
This means that you may need to manage your expectations as a wife or husband, while considering the amount spent of gifts in accordance with your real-time financial circumstances and long-term fiscal goals.
Of course, this can take some getting used to over time, but maintaining an open mind will enable you to consider a dramatically lower spend in its true context.