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Financial fibbers: 1 in 4 Australians lie about money

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Worried Man Doing Finances at Home

A quarter of Australians are less than truthful about their finances, according to new research by Finder.

A new nationally representative survey of 1,002 respondents revealed that 1 in 4 Aussies (26%) – equivalent to 5.2 million people – have lied about their financial situation.

The research shows that the most common money-related lies deal with income and savings, with 1 in 8 (13%) lying about how much cash they have stashed.

In addition, 1 in 10 Australians (10%) have lied about a financial matter to their employer.

Other common money-related lies include not telling the truth about their salary (9%), followed by how much debt they have (8%).

Rebecca Pike, money expert at Finder, said fabricating how much money you make or save isn't going to change that reality.

"Improving your personal financial literacy is one of the best investments you can make in yourself.

"From chipping away at debt to implementing a budget, being proactive with your finances will help you feel more confident and in control of your life.

"Having realistic conversations about your financial circumstances can also be helpful as you learn to save. The more we talk about money, the less scary it becomes," Pike said.

The research revealed that of those who admitted to lying about money matters, people were most likely to fib to their friends (44%).

Partners were a close second, with almost 1 in 3 (29%) of those who lied admitting to financial infidelity. The same number (29%) admitted to being dishonest with their parents.

Pike said financial lies can harm relationships.

"Rather than stretch the truth with your loved ones, I'd encourage Australians to tackle their spending and saving head on so they don't feel the need to lie.

"Free budgeting tools like MoneySmart's budget planner or the Finder app are a good place to start.

"If you don't know what's coming in and going out, you will have a hard time growing your wealth."

Have you ever lied about your financial situation?
No, I have never lied about my financial situation74%
Yes, how much money I have in savings13%
Yes, my salary9%
Yes, how much debt I have8%
Yes, how well my investments are doing5%
Yes, other1%
Source: Finder survey of 1,002 respondents, May 2022.
Who have you lied about your financial situation to?
My friends44%
My partner29%
My parents29%
Other family members18%
A love interest/date14%
My child/children13%
An employer10%
People on social media6%
Other3%
Source: Finder survey of 263 respondents who answered yes to the previous question.

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