Being in a relationship makes your savings pot grow faster
Britons in relationships save around £800 more each year as a result of their partner's influence, according to NS&I's latest Savings Survey. While 57% of couples are motivating each other to save more, there remains some conflicting views over who controls the finances. For some Britons, their partner's influence has a particularly dramatic effect, witha fifth (20%) saving at least £200 more per month, more than £2,400 over the course of a year.
Relationships are having the biggest effect on men's finances, with men saving an average of £85 more each month due to their partner's influence, compared to a £50 increase for women. Young men (aged 25-34) are most influenced by their partners, saving around £100 more. A quarter (26%) of women are saving more as a result of their partner's positive financial habits and for some women it's actually their counterpart's lack of discipline with money that makes them save even harder. As many as 15% of women in relationships admit to being motivated to save more due to their partner's bad financial habits, compared to 11% of men.
John Prout, NS&I Director, said "It is good to see that people in relationships are motivating one another to save significant sums of money. As well as helping each other save towards goals and providing more security in difficult times, these savings will make a difference for the bigger financial milestones that come during a relationship, like buying a home, or saving for life in retirement."
NS&I's research shows that there is a difference of opinion over who's in control of the finances. Nearly half (47%) of women in a relationship believe that they are splitting all of the couple's costs evenly. However, only 27% of men agree and a significant number say that they are paying for most joint items from their own finances. In almost all aspects of couples' spending, from council tax to trips to the cinema, men believe they are footing the bill:
47% of men say they usually pay for bills and council tax from their own finances(compared to 20% of women)
42% of men say they usually pay for the couple's groceries from their own money (compared to 33% of women)
41% of men say they usually pay for both partner's entertainment from their own funds (compared to 20% of women)
These differing views could be a result of not talking about savings in the early stages of relationships. While only 3% of Britons say that discussing shared finances is taboo, people tend to a wait a long time to talk about savings. The most common moment for partners to first discuss savings is when they move in together (25%) and a further 11% wait until buying property together.
John Prout, NS&I Director, continued "Many couples will be making purchases like holidays relatively soon into their relationships. Along with costs like eating out, this can start to add up and it is a good idea to talk about setting money aside to fund these outgoings. Getting over the hurdle of discussing finances will make financial planning easier. If people are successfully saving hundreds of pounds more each year, think how much could be achieved if people broached the conversation earlier on in their relationships?"
Older generations who have learned from experience would also advise their children not to fall into this trap of failing to talk about money. Over a third (34%) of people aged 65+ believe that savings should be discussed straight away in a relationship, compared to just 6% of people aged 16-24.