Have you ever gone to the shops and made a big purchase your partner didn’t know about or approve of, only to come home and hide it from them in the boot of your car?
Then, months later, you whip said purchase out and say, ‘Oh, this old thing?’
Well, you’re not alone. Nearly 3 million Australians admit they’ve either lied to their partner about money or reveal they have been lied to, new research from Finder.com.au found.
The data revealed men were twice as likely to lie about their money, with 20 per cent of men saying they have been untruthful to their significant other, compared to just 9 per cent of women.
However, women were more likely to conceal secret purchases from their partner.
The biggest lies Aussies told were about hidden debt, while others deceived their partner because they wanted to control their own finances.
Why do we lie about our money?
There can often be a lot of shame around poor money management, Finder’s personal finance specialist, Taylor Blackburn, said.
According to data from digital bank 86 400, around 74 per cent of Aussies admit to having disagreements over money with their partner.
It’s especially contentious at the start of a relationship, with 82 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds confessing to clashing with their beaus over cash.
Interestingly, more than one-in-four Aussies think their partner is useless with cash – and they believe they’re the more financially savvy person in the relationship.
“As we all know, adulting can be pretty complicated at times — and particularly when money is involved,” CFO of 86 400, Belinda Hogan said.
“It can be tough to balance spending, saving and regular expenses individually, but sharing your finances with another person or people adds a whole new layer of complexity.”
What can we do about it?
Having bad debt isn’t the issue, Blackburn said. Instead, the problem is when you have no plan to tackle it.
“Missing repayments can lead to a low credit score, which can impact your ability to buy a house or borrow money,” he said.
And you should probably come clean, too; lying to your partner can be a major deal breaker down the line, Blackburn said.
“While they may seem like little white lies now, being dishonest about your finances can come back to bite you down the track,” he said.
“Speaking to your partner openly about money can help you both get on the same page and reduce some of that financial stress.”
How can I talk to my partner about money?
The first place you should start with your partner is figuring out each other’s financial goals.
“Understanding each other’s financial priorities will help to keep you and your partner on the same page when it comes to your money,” Finder stated.
“Whether these are short-term or long-term goals, they will help to inform your current relationship with money.”
Then, you’ll need to tackle the tough stuff: debt.
If you or your partner have existing debt, you’ll need to get on top of this. Depending on your situation, it might mean consolidating your debt, lowering your credit card limit or switching to a balance transfer credit card.
Finally, you should look at setting a budget.
“Setting a budget together can help to avoid any surprises when it comes to footing the credit card bill,” Finder stated.
“It can also be a motivational way to work with your partner towards a shared goal, such as a house deposit – with the added benefit of making you think twice before buying something you don’t need.”