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Sex or money: what’s on the minds of Australians

The Advertiser 2019-08-10 09:00:00

Money and sex have long been taboo topics of discussion, but how do they stack up in our thoughts?

Predictably, some may say, there’s a large gender gap in play, according to new research.

My Budget’s study found that 49 per cent of Australians think about money more than they think about sex. However, 59 per cent of women think money before sex, compared with just 38 per cent of men.

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People may argue it’s typical of males to think with something other than their brains, but MyBudget director Tammy Barton said it was more about women being more risk-averse and considering family responsibilities.

“I think this goes hand-in-hand with cultural norms,” she said.

“Men are less likely to have the majority of the care responsibilities in their family, and more likely to be in full-time work — 65 per cent of full-time jobs in Australia are held by men.”

Wealth For Life Financial Planning principal Rex Whitford said sex previously played a key role in women’s financial security but this was no longer the case “in an age where women forge their own way”.

“Men have become surplus to the economic requirements for many women,” he said.

Rise High Financial Solutions managing director Marissa Schulze said women managed family finances more than men.

“They do feel a lot of pressure to make sure they’re making the right financial decisions — it weighs heavily on their shoulders,” she said.

MyBudget’s research also found that:

• One-third of people worry they will never pay off their mortgage.

• Almost two-thirds say managing money is more stressful today than it was 20 years ago.

• Four out of five people are stressed about their financial commitments.

Ms Schulze said consumers today were taking on higher levels of debt than before.

“We want instant gratification, so people are opting for expensive debt to bring forward their wishes,” she said.

“We do have access to more financial options now and that can be detrimental.”

Ms Barton said it was not surprising that bills and mortgages were people’s biggest worries.

“When I started MyBudget 20 years ago the average mortgage accounted for around 10 per cent of household income — that’s now about 30 per cent,” she said.

“Your finances are only as good as your systems. Australians don’t have the right systems in place to manage their money, and to top it all off, we’re time poor.”



• Create a budget plan.

• Review your debt and how you got it.

• Identify your strengths and weaknesses and work to your strengths.

• Ask for help if you’re in financial hardship

• Set a plan you can stick to, with smaller goals along the way.

Source: MyBudget

Originally published as Sex v money: the gender divide