$1.6b spent on ‘secret purchases’

Millions of Aussies are guilty of secret spending – hiding purchases from partners to the tune of around $588 per month.

New research by Finder reveals that 2.7 million Australians hide purchases from their partner, with the most common ‘secret purchases’ being clothes (38 per cent), guilt foods (32 per cent), gambling (26 per cent) and shoes (18 per cent).

Men spend more than twice as much as women, forking out $807 per month compared to just $366 for women.

Bessie Hassan, money expert at Finder, said disclosing spending habits with your partner might depend on how far along in the relationship you are.

“If you’ve just started dating someone, there’s no need to divulge every detail of your monthly expenditure,” she said.

“But if you’re merging finances and moving in together, you’ll probably need to have a conversation about money and spending habits.

“After all, if you plan on buying a home together down the track, both your credit scores will be considered. If your partner has a bad credit score, it will impact your borrowing power as a couple.”

More than half (60 per cent) of these sneaky purchases were made with cash, 26 per cent with a debit card and 24 per cent on a credit card.

“Using cash does suggest some Aussies are going the extra mile to cover their tracks. But if you’re going to be merging finances — and lives — with your partner, they’ll find out sooner or later if you’re splashing cash behind their back,” said Ms Hassan.

Women are most likely to hide clothing purchases, while men more commonly hide adult entertainment.

Baby boomers are the least likely to hide purchases. 

“Lying about your finances can damage a relationship, especially if it results in debt. If you’re constantly hiding your spending from your partner, it’s important to ask yourself why that might be the case,” said Ms Hassan.

What spending do Aussies keep from their partners?


38 per cent

Guilt foods

32 per cent


26 per cent


18 per cent

Pub sessions/alcohol

15 per cent


14 per cent

Adult entertainment

10 per cent


8 per cent


5 per cent

Do you hide purchases from your partner? What types of items or services do you buy that you keep a secret?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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