How many people lie about money?

A survey of Australian, American and Canadian adults

Hannah Norton

Jan 8, 2024

Managing household finances can be a stressful task. With mortgage or rental repayments, internet, water, electricity and gas bills constantly appearing, it can be overwhelming to keep track of it all.

For many of us, a simple solution is to share the responsibility of finance management between multiple people – be it a partner, family members or housemates.

But how many of us are honest when it comes to the state of money matters and cost of bills? As experts in home loan comparison and managing household finances, we ran a survey of more than 3,000 adults across Australia, America and Canada to expose just how many people are dishonest about money when asked by those closest to them.

Read on to learn what we discovered.

How many people have lied about the state of their finances?

We asked survey respondents if they have ever lied to those close to them about the true state of their finances.

We discovered that Canadians are significantly more likely to lie about the state of their finances when asked by those closest to them. As many as 34.4% of Canadians admitted to doing so, compared to 26.5% in America and a smaller 24.5% in Australia.

It gets even more alarming.

Those in Canada are also the most likely to lie about their spending habits, as well as the true cost of bills in order to benefit themselves financially.

Across all three nations, the likelihood of lying about financial matters decreases with age, with Baby Boomers being the most honest generation.

Here’s how the stats compare on a national level.

Graph showing how many people have lied about their finances across Australia, Canada and America.

Click through below to see a detailed breakdown of results per country.

Who is most likely to experience financial dishonesty?

Knowing how many people have lied to others, we were curious to learn how many have been lied to themselves, particularly in relation to household finances.

As it turns out, Canadians are the most likely nation to experience dishonest feedback (26.1%), closely followed by America (25.8%), with Australia further behind (17.4%). Across all three nations, women are more likely to experience this than men.

Click through below to see a detailed breakdown of results per country.

How confident are we with money management and household finances?

Finally, we asked respondents if they feel confident managing and paying their bills and expenses, regardless of whether they are responsible for doing so.

The results were similar across the board, with just less than one in ten across all nations expressing a lack of confidence with managing their finances. In Australia and Canada, the figure was highest at 9.2%, while it was slightly lower at 8.2% in America.

Of those who aren’t confident with their expenses, around half still manage their finances themselves.

Unfortunately, not having an adequate understanding of household expenses can put one at risk of a range of financial blunders. This means that a significant number of Australians, Americans and Canadians could face higher than necessary spending, miss out on impressive market deals, fail to meet payments, or even find themselves on an inappropriate level of cover for insurance products.

Graph showing the percentage of people that don't feel confident managing their household expenses in Australia, Canada and America.

Click through below to see a detailed breakdown of results per country.

Easing the pain of high household bills

The vast number of people that admit to concealing household bill costs makes it easy to see how tough they can be to manage. And, for many, one of the biggest and most stressful chunks of the budget is housing costs – whether it be rental or mortgage payments.

If you have an existing home loan or are looking to secure one for a property you have your eye on, comparing your options could ease some stress by helping you find a deal that meets your needs and circumstances.  With a competitive rate, you could put more money towards things that matter to you.

When going for a loan, it’s also important to consider your spending habits. While you may be able to conceal certain behaviours from those in your household, you can’t conceal spending habits from a bank. Lenders will closely analyse your monetary habits when considering your application, so it’s sensible to maintain good financial habits and show a history of saving if you want a lender to consider you seriously for a future home loan.

If you’re looking to compare your options now, you can use our free home loan comparison tool to find a range of options within minutes.


Compare the Market commissioned PureProfile to survey 1,003 Australian, 1,002 Canadian and 1,002 American adults in September 2023.

The generations mentioned in this survey were defined by the following age groups:

  • Generation Z: 18-25 years
  • Millennials: 26-41 years
  • Generation X: 42-57 years
  • Baby Boomers: 58+ years