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Why half of Australians don’t want to talk about money

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Almost half of Australians would rather avoid the topic of money, new research by finder.com.au has revealed.

The survey found 42% of those surveyed find personal finances the most difficult thing to talk about, even more than religion (40%), sex (38%) and politics (23%).

Consumer Advocate at finder.com.au, Bessie Hassan says Aussies will talk about their sex lives before they discuss their personal finances.

“Still in 2016 very few of us feel comfortable openly discussing finances,” she says.

“Despite living in the social media age where people are criticised for sharing far too much information online, divulging money matters makes us wildly uncomfortable.”

Only 18% of Australians regularly discuss money and Gen Y (aged 18-34) appear to be the most comfortable talking about it when it does enter the conversation, with one in three (33%) often discussing personal finances.

“Considering there’s a lot of lessons to be learned from hearing about other people’s financial experiences, that’s a lot of missed opportunities,” says Hassan.

Baby Boomers (aged 55-74) are the least comfortable generation when it comes to talking about money, with 56% never discussing it.

“Many in that generation were raised to believe that talking about money is rude or impolite and those are hard attitudes to shake,” says Hassan.

“We all need to be careful about what information we share – obviously keep specifics like account numbers or passwords private. But sharing ideas on how to save money or managing finances can make a big difference in people’s lives,” she says.

The survey included three reasons for why it is important that money matters be discussed.

•Gain knowledge: Talking to someone who has more financial knowledge than you is a great way to learn new personal finance concepts.

•Take action: Having a conversation with a friend can prompt the listener to take action on financial matters like looking for a cheaper home loan rate or drinking one less coffee a day to boost savings.Take act

•Learn from their mistakes: Chances are that someone you know has learnt the hard way about a financial matter you are contemplating. By finding out what they would do differently, you then have a head start.

Author: Lynne Cox

She is a Mortgage Broker and holds an Australian Credit Licence # 365386. She has been involved in the Mortgage Broking Industry since May 1996 but has been involved in small business since 1977. Lynne is a licensed finance broker. She was the President of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia until March 2004 where she is now a Life Member, and she was also a Member of the Finance Brokers Supervisory Board until it disbanded in October 2003.