Secret to happy romance revealed

Making New Year's resolutions for 2020 could be the perfect opportunity for couples to start regular financial chats, according to a recent study.
Making New Year's resolutions for 2020 could be the perfect opportunity for couples to start regular financial chats, according to a recent study.

HEALTH and fitness plans are expected to top the list of Australian New Year’s resolutions, but a focus on finances could be key for those wanting a brighter romantic outlook.

That’s the finding of a recent survey looking at wellbeing across the nation.

Two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents said they planned to spend significant time and effort on physical wellbeing and health in 2020.

Less than half (49 per cent) of the 2000 people polled plan to place a similar focus on financial wellbeing and money management.

Closer analysis of the ANZ-commissioned survey results, released on Friday, showed 76 per cent of people who are likely to set a financial goals describe their romantic relationship as “good” or “fantastic”.

Only 36 per cent of those without a financial plan reported similar relationship success.

Wellbeing expert Melissa Ambrosini, 33, and her husband Nick Broadhurst said they’re living proof that financial openness is key to a happy home.

The couple schedules monthly money chats during which they discuss income and expenses and whether they’re on track to reach financial goals.

“Having this monthly ritual was a game changer for us and something we love doing to realign and make sure we are both heading in the same direction,” Ms Ambrosini said.

Just one month into the 2013 start of their relationship, Mr Broadhurst suggested the chats and they’ve been going ever since.

“Having an open dialogue and feeling like we can talk openly and honestly about finances is one of the best things about our relationship.”

Finances were often considered a taboo topic among couples, NSW clinical psychologist Suzy Green said.

“There can be a lot of shame in discussing money if you’re not in great financial shape, with many people believing it’s a fault in their character as to why they’re not flourishing financially.”

Dr Green said it’s natural for such conversations to feel uncomfortable at first and that setting goals for the new year is a good way to raise the topic.

“Taking a more proactive and structured approach to talking about and improving financial wellbeing, will give the couple the energy they need to work on other life goals that financial goals so often underpin.”