It’s cheaper to live in a relationship than it is to live alone, $335 per week to be exact. That comes from splitting entertainment, going out, groceries, weekends away and personal grooming.
But if you’re really smart about it, there are a few ways to extend that lead even further.
So, listen up love birds, here’s your ticket to take even greater advantage of your partner.
Consolidate card benefits
If you’ve got regular rewards programs – FlyBuys, Frequent Flyers, DJ’s Store Card, Myer One – get a couple of cards so both partners can be on the same account. The points will stack up much faster, meaning you can redeem them for stuff you actually want.
If you don’t have a card for your weekly food shop, get on to it. At the very least, it’ll pay for a magazine subscription each year.
The only possible exception is introductory credit card rewards. There are some bumper sign on benefits – like a shed-load of frequent flyers for new card holders – that can make it worthwhile signing on separately, for the first year at least.
Insure as a couple
Car, travel and private health insurance are all generally cheaper when bought in a bundle, so if you’re in a serious relationship, plan ahead and save-a-the-dollar.
But don’t take the first deal you get. Swing past a few comparison sights, check out how products rate on Canstar and put up with a couple of sales calls to get the best deal.
When making the move, ensure any waiting periods are in order or, ideally, waived.
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Put tax into your partner’s super
While you can’t split your income as an employee (as a business or contractor there are a few more tricks), you can kick money into super and save on tax. Plus, you barely notice its missing when taken out each month.
Voluntary contributions into your super are taxed at a measly 15%, which depending on your marginal tax rate, can be a very attractive option. For example, if you earn $85k and kick $5k of that a year into your super, you’ll keep an extra $1100 out of the tax man’s greasy mitts.
It’s the closest thing to free money you’ll get.
If you’re under 50, the amount you can kick in at this lower tax rate is capped at $25k, so if you go over that it’s time to start spreading the love into your partner’s account.
If you have any shares or property investments, of plan on making some, splitting them between the two of you or putting them in the name of the lower earning partner can keep the tax man at bay too.
Just keep in mind that if there’s a hairy break up, it’s going to be hard to get your hands on those assets without a bit of co-operation.
Image: Tambako The Jaguar, via Flickr.