Shock financial lies that break up couples


More than a quarter us lie to our partners about money or have been deceived ourselves and men are the biggest culprits, new research reveals.

Money remains one of the key catalysts for couples separating.

New statistics from comparison website Finder quizzed 1000 Australians and found:

• 28 per cent of those surveyed have lied or been lied to by a partner about money.

• 20 per cent of men have lied about money compared to 9 per cent of women.

• For divorcees 67 per cent say debt was the main cause for lying.

• 44 per cent of partners lied because they wanted to maintain control over their finances.

So how do you manage money lies? Here's the expert tips:



Consumer finance expert Lisa Montgomery says the adage "honesty is the best policy" always applies when it comes to sharing your money highs and lows with your partner.

"I have seen a lot of people who have had significant complications with their relationship because there hasn't been honesty there regarding finances," she says. "It can affect you personally, it's important to have honesty and it must be reciprocal."

Consumer financial expert Lisa Montgomery said honesty is the best policy when it comes to dealing with your finances with your partner. Picture: Toby Zerna
Consumer financial expert Lisa Montgomery said honesty is the best policy when it comes to dealing with your finances with your partner. Picture: Toby Zerna

Latest Relationships Australia research showed only one in three had discussed their financial situation before entering a relationship.

But interestingly, 53 per cent say their partner's financial situation was not important when they decided to be in a committed relationship.



Montgomery says it's critical to understanding the "financial values" of your significant other sooner rather than later to prevent issues further into the relationship.

"You need to work out if financial values are a deal breaker in the relationship and it depends on how you structure your financial future," she says. "If you're joining your finances or your relationship is becoming serious and you are cohabiting, there are mutual debts and financial interests so you must have a regular conversation."



The Finder research showed 50 per cent of those who have lied about their finances did so because they had unpaid bills.

The site's spokesman Taylor Blackburn says dealing with debt openly is always best.

"Debt doesn't have to be something we hide from," he says. "Most of us will experience some form of debt, from mortgages to personal loans to credit cards. "The problem is when you accumulate debt you can't afford to repay."

Relationships Australia's NSW chief executive officer Elisabeth Shaw says finances can cause fractures between partners if they are on a different page.

"Being transparent in a relationship is always a good place to start, but the bigger issue is to talk about what money really means to you," she says.

"For one person it might mean freedom or a chance to have a good time or a relaxation from life but another person might think money means security."



Shaw also says that lying about money can come in different levels of severity, such as being dishonest about a purchase such as clothes or shoes to much bigger issues such as having a gambling problem.

"Someone with a gambling addiction believes often they will make the family money so they take all the money and do something with it only to lose it all," she says. "That is a breach of trust and if often a relationship ender."




■ Talk about your finances.

■ See where you both stand financially.

■ Decide on your goals.

■ Do a budget.

■ Plan your financial future.

■ Seek help if you need it.


Originally published as Shock financial lies that break up couples