Eliza Bavin* says the rising cost of living has forced Aussies to rush their relationships.
Aussie couples have been shacking up quicker than planned to reduce bill pain, according to new research.
A Finder survey of 441 renters revealed 15 per cent had moved in with a partner earlier than expected.
The research found one in 10 had moved in earlier than planned to make rent more affordable – equivalent to more than 290,000 households rushing romance to counteract the spiralling cost of living.
The data found 3 per cent moved in to improve their chances of rental or home loan approval, while 2 per cent decided to share bed and board for other reasons.
Finder money expert Sarah Megginson said the cost of living forced many Australians – particularly young people – to make some tough decisions.
“Rising costs are becoming a big concern for Australians, with many struggling to find affordable housing,” Megginson said.
“It’s not surprising to see this rental crunch is prompting some people to turn to alternative living situations to cut down on expenses.”
Young people were more likely to have moved in with their better half earlier than expected – 29 per cent of Gen Zs admitted to rushing romance, compared to 17 per cent of millennials.
Megginson said it was a marriage of convenience that could turn sour very quickly.
“Lenders are really strict on lending money to borrowers if they don’t think you’ll be able to manage repayments – it’s baked into the responsible lending act, so they have a lot of guidelines to follow around how much they can responsibly lend to you,” Megginson said.
“Couples are more frequently pairing up to increase their chances of approval, but if the relationship goes south, it could be extremely complicated for individuals to part ways.”
Women (19 per cent) were more likely than men (11 per cent) to move in with their partner ahead of schedule, the research showed.
Megginson encouraged partners to understand each other’s spending and saving behaviours prior to applying for a loan together.
“You probably won’t discuss debt on the first date. But there needs to be an open discussion before things get serious,” Megginson said.
“Learn about how the person you’re dating manages debt, and their money habits in general, before you move in together.”
Megginson added that you didn’t want to find out your partner had a big credit card debt or expensive personal loan that drained their finances, and made it tricky for you to share living expenses.
“It can be hard to reach financial goals as a couple if you have very different approaches to money management, which is why these conversations are so important,” she said.
“Signing a lease or a mortgage is a huge step to take with a significant other, so don’t rush the arrangement just to reduce hip-pocket pain.”
*Eliza Bavin, Personal Finance Editor, is a senior journalist focusing on economics, personal finance and company news amongst other things.
This article first appeared at au.finance.yahoo.com