12-Feb-2019 • Personal Finance

While Valentine’s Day might traditionally consist of a candlelit dinner, luxury gifts or a lavish out night out, a recent survey conducted by ME Bank reveals most Aussies won’t be letting emotions get in the way of their wallet this year.

Results from ME’s Love and Money survey show a hefty 81% of Australian adults in relationships believe it’s the thought that counts, not the amount spent, when it comes to showing love, with the majority estimated to only spend an average of $50 or less on their partner this Valentine’s Day.

In fact, results show only 56% of those in relationships plan to celebrate the day, let alone spend money on it.

Interestingly, for those who are set to celebrate, ME’s survey found the highest typical spend for Aussie females was only up to $50 (47%), while males are willing to splash out a bit more in the spirit of chivalry – 31% of them said they’d spend between $51-$100.

ME Money Expert, Matthew Read, said the sentiment of ‘money can’t buy you love’ is alive and well. If you are weighing up whether to spend big on gifts this year, don’t feel pressured, as it’s highly likely you partner thinks similarly.

“If you and your partner are hesitant to splash out for Valentine’s Day, why not discuss setting a spending limit, or decide whether you’re giving gifts in advance so that one person’s not caught red-faced on the day,” he said.

“Talking openly about your finances is healthy for any relationship, and by doing so you might just find that the money you planned to spend on Valentine’s Day could be what you need to reach shared savings goal.”

Should’ve put a ring on it: Aussies who tied the knot more likely to receive ritzier gifts

Although most gifting between couples is looking to be on the thriftier side this Valentine’s Day, ME’s survey shows that if you’re married, you’re more likely to be in luck in the gift department.

The survey reveals 17% of married Aussies are likely to splurge more than $200 on their partner, in comparison to only 9% of unmarried couples. Married couples are also more likely to consider the amount spent as a reflection of the relationship’s strength in comparison to unmarried couples.

Puppy love is alive and well: Young Aussies the keenest to impress

Younger people in newer relationships are more likely to put a dent in their wallet on Valentine’s Day, with those aged between 18-24 years more likely to spend above average on gifts in an effort to impress. In fact, 19% of Aussies within this age group are expected to spend between $101 and $200 on their significant other.

“It’s no surprise that new couples are the keenest to impress with lavish gifts, but the results suggest this willingness to spend big decreases the longer the relationship,” said Read.

“The longer couples are together, the less they feel the need to splash out on each other – perhaps due to a shift in financial priorities and the establishment of shared saving goals for their future.”


Editor notes: ME’s Love and Money survey was completed by 1,000 Australians in a romantic relationship, in December 2018.
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