Couples still reluctant to talk money in relationships



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New research from Westpac shows that a lack of communication around finances is prominent among separating Australian couples, with more than a third (36 per cent) of relationships not in a financially healthy position. 

Westpac’s Finance and Separation Report found that money is still a taboo topic of conversation, with 49 per cent of couples more willing to talk about intimacy issues than financial issues with friends.

Kate Holloway, Westpac financial expert, believes that being financially informed is “empowering”, and puts you “in a much better position for success, no matter what relationships stage you are in”.

“Our research shows couples are more financially compatible (85 per cent) if they regularly speak openly about their finances, and encouragingly, 43 per cent of Australians in committed relationships are doing just that.

“Planning a future with someone you love is, in many cases, as much a financial commitment as a personal one. From discussing how to manage joint finances to making sure you’re staying on top of your account balances – there are practical considerations every couple should discuss.”

Further, of Australians who had been through, or were currently going through a separation, 65 per cent did not know where to start. Westpac alluded that this is the reason more than half (58 per cent) procrastinate looking into financial matters”.

“Negotiating the financial side of separation can be complicated and seem incredibly overwhelming during an already tough time.

“Our research reveals that two thirds (65 per cent) of those considering a separation were hesitant to go through with it due to the fear of having to financially start over.

“So should the unfortunate happen, and you decide to separate, having a strong understanding of your finances can allow you to navigate your financial situation quickly, which can have significant benefits,” said Ms Holloway.

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