Poll: 31% of people would rather partners cheat than have secret bank accounts


They say all is fair in love and war, but when you add finances to the mix you might be surprised where loyalties lay.

A new poll from Creditcards.com indicates that a significant amount of Americans would rather have their lovers cheat on them than have secret bank accounts.

The findings come from a national survey of 1,372 adults who are involved in a relationship. The numbers show that 31% of those people would rather have their partners step out on them than conceal a savings, checking, credit or debit card account. To put it another way, Americans prefer to be two-timed rather than nickel and dimed.

Findings: Many would rather deal with cheating than hidden bank accounts

As many as 15 million people who live with a partner admitted to committing this folly, which the poll labels as “financial infidelity.”

“You don’t know what the other person is spending money on,” Sonya Britt-Lutter, associate professor of personal financial planning at Kansas State University, said. “Are they spending it on another person, or are they spending it on something else that pleases them in a way that you’re not pleasing them as a partner or spouse?”

Financial infidelity is not as uncommon as you might think. A 2016 story in MarketWatch reported that 40% of Americans have cheated in that area. One spouse who traveled as much as 10 days a month said that she gradually began to fiscally cheat on her husband as her income rose.

“My career was at a high point, and my marriage [wasn’t] quite so high,” she was quoted as saying. “Then the bonus checks began to roll in monthly, and that was ultimately how the dance with the devil began,” she said. She soon opened a separate bank account unbeknownst to her husband.

3 signs your partner may be involved with financial infidelity

If you suspect you’re in love with a financial cheater, here are three warning signs to look out for.

  • Can’t find the mail? Your lover is sheepish around the mail or they don’t want you to see the financial accounts or talk about them. It could be that they have paperwork on a secret account.
  • Bank ledger isn’t adding up: You notice suspicious withdrawals from your joint account, but can’t seem to track what the money was used for. If nothing seems to add up, see if the both of you can’t balance the finances to see where all the money is going.
  •  Big purchases, no proof: You may come home one day and notice a new TV, but see no evidence of it on the banking statement. Where’d it come from? Whose account? That may or may not be a major red flag.

Bottom line: As responsible financial stewards, we all know that money comes and money goes. If you suspect that you’re in a relationship with someone who is not as forthcoming with money as you would like them to be, try to have a heart-to-heart conversation with them. Explain how you feel and allow them to do likewise. You may find that the biggest issue all along isn’t the dollars you’re making, it’s the sense.

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