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Have we broken up with Valentine’s Day?

12 February 2018

Australia’s love affair with Valentine’s Day is on the rocks with nearly half (45 per cent) the number of couples planning to give the romantic holiday the cold shoulder.

According to new Suncorp research, 49 per cent of people in a relationship will avoid costs associated with the occasion, while those intending to embrace the day (51 per cent) will spend an average $127 on their loved ones.

The findings also reveal more women than men (51 per cent vs 37 per cent respectively) feel the holiday is outdated and Suncorp’s Lynne Sutherland said this is reflected in the amount they are prepared to spend ($93 for women, $160 for men).

“Despite Valentine’s Day becoming increasingly outdated for some, it’s still a key date on the calendar for many and people should be prepared for how much they expect to spend,” said Ms Sutherland.

“We are all guilty of an impulse buy, especially when it comes to buying gifts for loved ones. Planning for a purchase, budgeting and prioritising ‘needs’ vs ‘wants’ will help you to feel financially prepared.

“Couples should also try to be open about their Valentine’s Day plans – this not only assists with budgets, but helps with managing expectations too.”

Ms Sutherland said it was pleasing to see 29 per cent of couples jointly manage their budgets and expenses given the impact financial stress can have on a relationship.

“We know financial stress can create major issues in a relationship, so it’s important to find time to discuss your finances as a couple.

“Along with savings and debt, it’s also about understanding what motivates each other’s spending and savings behaviours, and how you want to approach your finances together.

“Everyone has a preferred way of doing things and there certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for any type of money management, including how to tackle it as a couple.

“For example, the research found 58 per cent of couples have a joint account and 46 per cent have separate accounts. It’s all about finding a formula that works for both of you.”

Other key facts

  • There appears to be a battle for the financially savvy title, with 41 per of men believing they hold the title, compared to 16 per cent of women (despite only 7 per cent of women saying their partner is the financial guru).
  • Romance is still a key driver for many couples with 23 per cent confirming they view Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to be romantic.
  • The older you get, the less you plan to spend – couples aged 16 – 34 spend $86, 35 – 49 spend $73 and 50 – 64 spend just $34.*
  • New South Wales romantics are the most generous spenders at ($162), followed by Victorians ($131), those in Australia’s Capital ($119), Western Australians ($107), Queenslanders ($99), South Australians ($98) and Tasmanians ($94).

*Includes respondents who said they would not spend anything.

Suncorp research surveyed 1,000 Australians aged 16-64 from around the country. The research was conducted in January 2018 by Kantar TNS Australia.

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