A new study by Westpac has concluded that 36 per cent of Australian couples do not consider themselves to be in financially healthy positions.
Australian couples generally regarded discussing their finances with support networks as being “awkward”.
In fact, 49 per cent of respondents felt more comfortable disclosing intimacy issues with their friends, rather than financial issues.
“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,” said Westpac spokesperson Kate Holloway.
Among those respondents who had been through or were currently going through a separation in their relationship, 65 per cent did not know how to start looking into their finances.
This could be “the reason more than half (58 per cent) of those considering a separation actually procrastinate looking into financial matters,” Westpac said.
Meanwhile, 65 per cent of respondents considering a separation from their partner were hesitant to finalise it due to fear of having to “start over” financially.
On the other hand, the majority of Australians who did finalise their separation (84 per cent) took positive or financially significant steps within a year of being separated from their partner, such as “sorting out their finances (33 per cent) and paying off debts (28 per cent)”.
Westpac’s data also revealed that more than half of respondents who finalised a separation from their partner were positively managing their finances within 12 months.