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What’s yours is mine: Over 3 million Aussies reliant on partner for money

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Millions of Australians are financially dependent on their partner, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,070 respondents revealed 1 in 6 (16%) Australians – equivalent to 3.3 million people – rely on their significant other for financial support.

Almost 1 in 4 (22%) women – 2.3 million women nationally – describe themselves as financially dependent, while 1 in 10 men (10%) say the same (equivalent to roughly 1 million men).

Finder's research found 22% of millennials are currently relying on their companion for money – a popular lifestage for child-rearing responsibilities.

The survey revealed 16% of gen X are supported financially by their partner, while 9% of baby boomers are completely financially dependent on their spouse or partner.

Rebecca Pike, money expert at Finder, said it's not that surprising millennials are the generation with the most financial dependency.

"Millennials are typically at the stage where they're having children or even taking time out of work to travel, so it's understandable there's less financial independence than older generations.

"This also correlates with a higher proportion of women who are financially dependent.

"However, we are starting to see a shift towards women being the primary breadwinner and men staying at home to raise the kids in opposite-sex relationships.

"It's never ideal to be fully dependent on a partner for finance, so it's important to prepare ahead for life stages like this."

Pike said there were other reasons besides raising children to be financially dependent on your loved one such as study and health reasons.

"Millions of Aussies of all stages of life rely on their partner to get by financially.

"While this is not uncommon it can leave the dependent partner vulnerable to money stress if they were to split."

Pike urged Australians to save up their own personal emergency fund even if they were being supported financially.

"It doesn't matter if you pool your resources or not – you need to have your own cash buffer in case the unexpected were to occur.

"As women are less likely to be financially independent, this also means they are more likely to be in a worse position should their relationship end."

Are you financially dependent on a partner?
Yes16%
No, I don't have a partner23%
No61%
Source: Finder survey of 1,070 respondents, February 2024

Methodology

  • Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker is a monthly recurring nationally representative survey of more than 60,000 respondents.
  • Figures in this release are based on 1,070 respondents from February 2024.
  • The Consumer Sentiment Tracker is owned by Finder and operated by Qualtrics, an SAP company.
  • The survey has been running monthly since May 2019.

Here's 4 steps to creating an emergency savings fund and how much money you should aim to keep in it.

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