Australia, it’s time to talk about money

The Smartline Report – February 2016 Edition

Australia, it’s time to talk about money

Money. Capital. Finances. It’s time to have a chat about these taboo topics. Australia is one of those countries where people simply refuse to discuss their money worries, even when they are on the brink of bankruptcy.

In fact, according to a survey by Members Equity (ME) Bank, Australians are far happier to talk about death than they are about cash. Religion is also apparently an easier topic to get to grips with, as is politics and even emotions. The only subject that the populace found more taboo than money (28 per cent) was the other big one – sex (36 per cent).

So why are we so worried about talking money? Why is it that Aussies with mortgages are so averse to discussing their home loan?

Why let money ruin your day?
By not getting advice and help with our financial woes, we are exacerbating an already bad situation.

Financial issues have been rated as the single worst cause of stress in 2015 in a survey from the Australian Psychological Society, likely making money the largest contributor to the highest-ever recorded levels of anxiety. First home buyers have been feeling the squeeze recently too, with a drop in first home financing from October 2015 to November, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Whether it’s saving for a first deposit or trying to find a self-employed home loan, at some point you’ve likely felt overwhelmed by your finances. So, how can you solve the problem?

You can talk to a professional about it. ME Bank’s survey found that only 35 per cent of the people who discussed their finances were worried, compared to 78 per cent who would baulk at a money chat.

“Discussing your finances with others is clearly linked to better financial management,” said Nic Emery, head of deposits and transactional banking at ME Bank. “It reduces money worry, increases the chances you’ll actively manage it and can help reduce money conflict in relationships.”

However, he also cautioned that the 64 per cent of people who spoke to their partner might be getting the wrong advice. “Choose someone you trust but also consider their financial expertise and experience – you want to ensure you’re getting the right advice.”

So, if you have concerns about your mortgage repayments or are trying to save for a first deposit, it could pay to speak to your Smartline mortgage broker to seek their advice.

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.