Millions of Aussies Say Lying About Money is Worse Than Cheating

About 1 in 5 Australians, equivalent to 4.2 million people, believe that lying to a partner about finances is worse than having an affair.

New research by comparison website Finder uncovered a significant generational divide, with Baby Boomers leading the charge in their apprehension towards financial fibs within relationships, standing at 23%. Millennials followed closely behind at 22%, with Generation X at 21%, and Generation Z at 18%.

Sarah Megginson, a distinguished personal finance expert at Finder, said lying about money can ruin relationships.

“Purposefully hiding information about money is a major red flag in relationships, especially when couples share finances,” she said.

“Financial lies can be quite destructive and leave people feeling betrayed and untrusting. As our research shows, it can cause even more pain than a romantic affair.”

Australians are more stressed about finances than they were during the pandemic. Credit: supplied.
Australians are more stressed about finances than they were during the pandemic. Credit: supplied.

Megginson added that people who lie about finances in relationships are motivated for various reasons.

“For some people, the motivation to be dishonest is born out of embarrassment over a secret debt or an addiction that’s gotten out of control,” she explained.

“For others, it’s less about shame, and more about wanting to be prepared with a financial safety net in the event the relationship ends poorly, so they might have a ‘secret’ account they haven’t told you about.”

Finder’s comprehensive study showed that a staggering 79% of Australians, equivalent to a staggering 16 million people, unequivocally deem extramarital affairs as a lesser transgression compared to concealing financial realities.

Megginson urged people to have candid and transparent dialogues with their partners.

“If you’re hiding something, consider coming clean sooner than later. The longer it goes on, the bigger the problem can grow and the more elaborate your lies are likely to become,” she said.

“Conversations about money are often difficult but they’re important to have.

“Financial trust is really crucial in a relationship, so it’s ideal if you can talk openly about money and get on the same page, and ideally support each other to reach financial goals together.

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