86 400 reveals older couples have a better handle on shared finances

Older man and woman driving car.

In the lead up to Valentine’s day this Sunday, neobank 86 400 has released some very telling results from a survey on shared finances. 

Findings from the survey show that finances are especially tricky for younger couples to navigate. In fact, over 80% of 18 to 24 year olds admitted to clashing with their loved one over money.

In contrast, 42% of 65 to 74 year olds said they never disagree when it comes to money. A vast majority of this group aged 55 and over also viewed the management of their finances as a team effort between the two of them.

We spoke to 86 400’s chief financial officer Belinda Hogan about why older couples might be better at managing finances and what advice other couples can take on board when it comes to money.

Money anxieties

Hogan says the research from this recent survey is very much in line with an earlier study 86 400 carried out on attitudes to money. 

“What we found at that time was that money was making people really anxious, it was leaving them stressed and confused,” she says. 

Hogan puts this anxiety down to the fact that money has become much more complex in recent years. She says there are so many different ways to pay these days, including by card, phone or even smart watch. 

“Then you’ve got the subscription economy, think Netflix and Spotify. Everyone’s taking money out of your account all the time and you often don’t see it. All that combines to make people feel stressed and anxious.”

Hogan says these sorts of financial worries usually happen with couples between the ages of 25 and 45. The same age category that admits to arguing more with their partners. Indeed, the survey found that more than half of couples aged 35 to 44 clash over money. 

“It makes sense that this is the age where money becomes more complex,” she says. “Often you’re paying a mortgage, you might have kids fees, things going on with childcare and all of this fits with this age demographic.”

Making things work

The research also found that older couples are more likely to see eye-to-eye when it comes to finances.

Hogan says older couples who have had more time to build up open communication about money were much better at managing shared finances. She says, “What we learned was that just chatting to your parents, in-laws or grandparents can be helpful. All of these couples who have found a way to manage their finances as equals. I think they’ve got a lot of wisdom that could definitely be passed down.”

On the subject of shared accounts, Hogan says that there was no one way that couples were managing them.

“I think don’t be afraid to try different ways and don’t think that just because you try one way and it doesn’t work, that it’s about you.” 

She suggests that there are many different ways couples use shared accounts, some choose to share all their finances, while others share some finances but not all. Some others even like to keep things completely separate.

“There’s no right or wrong, it’s just about finding what works for you,” Hogan says.

86 400 recently launched smart shared accounts, so if you’re thinking about opening a joint account with your loved one it might be one to think about. With these customers can manage their finances with a partner via a joint Pay Account or Save Account.

Or if you want to check out more places to stash your joint rainy day fund, head to Mozo’s compare savings accounts page. Here’s hoping you have a financially smooth Valentine’s day!

Compare savings accounts - last updated 3 December 2023

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