Matters of the heart, or wallet?

Ticking all the boxes on the dating scene can be tricky: fit – tick, good cook – tick, likes cats – tick. While these attributes might be front-of-mind as you swipe, it turns out being financially fit is also very attractive when it comes to love and money.

And according to a recent survey, two-thirds of Aussies want to know their partner’s financial situation before things get serious.   

Key learnings:

  1. Finances and relationships
  2. The importance of having ‘the talk’ (about money)
  3. How advice can help. 

What we’re looking for

In today’s economy, with the cost-of-living crisis, inflation and housing shortages, people are increasingly looking for a partner that provides financial stability. A recent survey1 found just over a third of survey respondents said a potential partner should have no debt at all, excluding a mortgage . Credit card, payday debt (such as Afterpay) and personal loans topped the ‘bad’ list (82%, 78% and 73% respectively). Car loans were also on the unfavourable debt list for 57.5% of those surveyed.

While many Aussies might be turned off by debt levels in potential partners keeping communication open and honest can help. 

Having ‘the talk’

Money is a big factor in relationships and can be a source of tension for couples. So, it makes sense to find out as much as you can about your new or potential partner’s attitudes to spending and saving. 

So, how do you broach the ‘money conversation’ early on in a relationship?

1.    Keep an open mind — be curious about your partner’s perspective on money. Their upbringing, career and values all feed into their money mindset.

2.    Don’t avoid it — have ongoing conversations about money and finance. Even though it might feel easier to just not talk about it, having a potentially awkward conversation about money is much better than realising down the track that your partner doesn’t share your viewpoints on money matters and financial goals.

3.    Be honest with yourself and each other — if you’re a shopaholic with a penchant for gadgets, while your partner is more of a saver who cringes at the thought of buying takeaway coffees, you may not be financially compatible. 

4.    Take charge of your finances together – learn about money and set financial goals together.

5.    Lastly, keep things separate — you can still work on combined goals, but ensure your financial future is protected by keeping part of your finances separate (at least in the short term). Your future self will thank you!

While we can’t give you dating advice, if you need super advice, we’re there for you. As part of your membership* you can chat to a financial planner about building a bigger balance, super tax advantages, your appetite for risk and making sure your protected with the right insurance. It’s at no extra cost to you so give us a call on 1300 360 149.


1 eHarmony survey ‘About the Debt on Love Report, Pure Profile on behalf of Soda Communications, 2021.
*Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.

Information correct as at 18 June 2024.