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Don’t mess with the money: 4 million Aussies say financial infidelity is worse than an affair - featured image
By Michael Yardney

Don’t mess with the money: 4 million Aussies say financial infidelity is worse than an affair

Millions of Australians consider financial infidelity to be the ultimate betrayal in their relationship, according to new research by Finder. Couple Credit

A nationally representative survey of 1,015 respondents revealed more than 1 in 5 (22%) Australians think financial infidelity is worse than their partner having an affair.

Gen Z (27%) are the most likely to admit they believe financial infidelity is worse than physical cheating, compared to 17% of Baby Boomers, 19% of Gen X, and 26% of Millennials.

Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder, said being transparent about your finances with your partner can be considered equally as important as being faithful in a relationship, especially if your finances are combined.

“Financial infidelity can range from something as little as fibbing about purchasing a new item for your wardrobe right through to gambling large amounts of money.

“Financial cheating is up there with physical cheating and can have even more devastating consequences long term.”

The survey found men (23%) and women (21%) are almost evenly tied when it comes to thinking financial infidelity is worse than physical cheating.

Browne encourages Australians to be transparent about their finances with their partner from the outset.

“It’s a good idea to check that your attitudes towards spending and saving are compatible early on. You don’t want to get blindsided later down the track.”

How much are they worth?

Finder research in August found 2 in 5 (40%) Australians – equivalent to more than 7 million people – were unaware of how much their partner was worth.

A survey by Relationships Australia revealed that the majority of respondents (male respondents; 64%, female respondents; 54%) considered that infidelity should not always result in the end of a relationship.

However, more than 10% of men and women thought infidelity should always result in a break-up.

Which do you think is worse in a relationship: financial infidelity or physically cheating?
Physically cheating (i.e. having an affair) 78%
Financial infidelity (i.e. not being honest with your partner about income or spending) 22%
Source: Finder survey of 1,015 respondents, October 2021 Don’t mess with the money: 4 million Aussies say financial infidelity is worse than an affair

What to keep in mind before opening a joint account:

  •  Both parties can access the money.
    Because you both have complete access to the account, either person can spend the money.couple-tax-300×260
    This is why it’s important to open a joint account with someone you trust.
  •  Overdraft facility.
    If your joint account has an overdraft facility available, it means you can spend more money than what’s available in the account forcing your balance to go into the negative.
    Even if you didn’t spend the money, you’re both liable to repay the money and your credit score may be affected if you can’t.
  •  Division of funds if you separate.
    If you separate from your partner, dividing the funds in the joint account can be a messy, awkward task.
    Also, there’s nothing to stop the other person from clearing out the account entirely.
  •  Privacy.
    Everyone whose name is on the account will have easy access to the account online and will be able to see the transaction history of all account holders.

ALSO READ: How did the pandemic affect your household finances?

About Michael Yardney Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.
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