Here's how Australian couples divide their financial responsibilities

Lisa Maree Williams / Stringer / Getty
  • Two-thirds of Australian women (64%) take control of grocery shopping, says a survey by HSBC.
  • But men tend to be in charge when a decision has to be made on larger purchases, such as a car.
  • The study about retirement shows only 25% of women think their financial knowledge is better than their partners.

Australian women appear to have most financial control in a relationship only when it comes to groceries and day-to-day purchases.

But on the big ticket items, such as buying a car or spending for a holiday, it’s men who take the lead.

A survey by HSBC of 1,001 Australians, shows how financial responsibilities are divided:


Only 25% of women pitch their financial knowledge as higher than their partners, versus 42% of men.

The HBC survey looked at finances for retirement and found that 60% of Australian women worry they won’t have enough money to cover medical or care expenses.

“Workplace policy is slowly recognising the needs of women with more employers paying compulsory superannuation during parental leave,” says Graham Heunis, HSBC Australia’s Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management.

“This benefit helps women bridge the retirement gap and sets them up to make other decisions that ensure they will enjoy a better retirement.

“Women clearly have the aptitude to manage financial affairs and it’s important that employers provide them with the necessary support to extend this beyond traditional areas of household budgeting to also include investment.”

Almost half (49%) of working age women don’t know what proportion of their pre-retirement income they need for a comfortable retirement.

And women (66%) worry more about finances than men:


Generally, Australian women are more positive than men about retirement.

Almost three-quarters (71%) look forward to spending more time with family and friends compared to 60% of men. And 57% anticipate retirement as a time to rediscover themselves, compared to 46% for men.

Women are also more likely to be confident about life after the death of their partner. Only a third (36%) of retired women say their life wouldn’t be worth living without their partner, compared to 42% of men.

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