One in four Australian families says money is a source of conflict at home, with the same portion saying they keep a financial secret from their partner, according to research by St George Bank.
The survey, conducted with 1,500 parents across Australia, found that 40 per cent of those experiencing conflict because of money believed it was due to their partner overspending.
It also found that only 51 per cent of families combine their income, while 37 per cent keep their money entirely separate.
For mothers, the top financial secret of those who kept one was a large debt, while for fathers it was a secret bank account.
St George general manager, Ross Miller, said the research proved that “saving more” was the number one goal for most families, well ahead of “having a better household budget,” which may be damaged by the issues highlighted by the above statistics.
“It was interesting to see that only half of families combine their income, and only four in 10 parents tackle the household budget as a joint responsibility,” Miller said.
“This was also the case when it came to parents making financial decisions on children’s expenses such as education and hobbies, again half of Aussie parents said they make these decisions alone. By looking at the household expenses together and agreeing on key financial decisions, families may be able to budget better and improve on their savings strategy.”
The survey also found that only 17 per cent of households had sought financial advice and 70 per cent said their household financial management was self-taught.
Miller recommended that more families reviewed their finances and accounts at least yearly to use strategies that meet their changing financial needs.