woman shopping

What’s your secret spending habit?

Australians have racked up some $50.8 billion across 16.3 million credit cards with men and women as bad as each other with using them to hide secret purchases.

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Rising credit card debt is being partly blamed on the secret spending habits of Australians with many women covering up their purchases.

According to a survey of 1,035 Australians by product comparison website finder.com.au, men are spending about three times more on hidden purchases with $4,596 spent, compared to women with $1,476 spent.

But the survey also found that 23% of women were more likely to cover up their spending, compared to 20% of men.

The top five secret purchases were, clothes 5.1%, followed by money spent on gambling 4.3%, guilty foods 4.2%, adult entertainment 1.6% and cigarettes 1.4%.

Bessie Hassan, spokesperson at finder.com.au said the average Australian is now $1,196 in debt because of secret spending.

The research showed Generation Y (those aged 18-35) had the largest debt hangover from secret spending at $2,054 on average, compared to $1,173 for Generation X and $318 for Baby Boomers.

Australians currently owe $50.8 billion across 16.3 million credit cards, according to Reserve Bank of Australia.

Generation X are the biggest users of cash to pay for secret splurges with 46% of respondents admitting to this compared to 41% of baby boomers and 44% of Gen Y.

They’re also the most likely to gamble secretly.

Clothing is by far the biggest weakness for Generation Y, which spends on average about $337 per month compared to Generation X with $249 and Baby Boomers $73.

The tips on avoiding secret debt from finder.com.au include:

  • Be honest. If you can’t get control of your secret spending it’s time to divulge your habits to your partner. When a problem is visible to someone other than yourself it can be easier to overcome.
  • Stop feeling ashamed about your credit card spending as this can stop you from getting help and on top of things.
  • Reduce debts by consolidating and comparing balance transfer credit cards.

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