More people are hiding their finances from their partners than ever before, according to a new study.
A poll from CreditCards.com on financial infidelity shows that 44% of people are financially cheating in some form. In fact, 34% are spending more than their partner would consider okay. Meanwhile, 17% are hiding a checking, savings or credit card account from their partner and 12% have secret debt.
Study: 44% Admit to Committing Financial Infidelity
The numbers have more than doubled since last year, when those surveyed were only asked about credit cards and bank accounts. This year, the poll expanded the question into hidden debt and spending.
Here are some of the key findings:
- At 57%, millennials were the worst at deceiving their partners. Gen Xers were next at 45%, while 37% of boomers admitted to it.
- Around 27% said financial cheating is worse than actual cheating, while 30% regard it as the same.
- Some 36% of respondents said they financially cheat to maintain privacy, making that the most common reason.
CreditCards.com commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey, which was done January 2-6, 2020, and polled 2,501 U.S. adults.
From the results, it’s clear that many people in relationships don’t put a priority on money matters when it comes to communicating honestly.
How to Talk to Your Partner About Finances
Money expert Clark Howard says no matter how long you’ve been together, you and your partner should make an effort to be honest about your financial goals.
“Formulate a goal you’re trying to achieve. If you’re in a relationship, this is not a talk — it’s an ongoing conversation,” he says.
“Perhaps earmark having the discussions twice a year when the time changes, coinciding with that reminder to change the batteries in smoke detectors. Have the talks when you change your clocks, ’cause time waits for no one.”
If it feels awkward to talk about money matters, Clark has a suggestion on how to approach it. He says you should frame it around the plans you have together.
“It should be like, ‘Hey, this is where I want to go in life. What are your dreams?’ Lay out your goals and see where they intersect,” Clark says. “Otherwise, it’s like starting out on a road trip and not having a destination in mind.”
Ultimately, being open and honest about your financial situation can only help your relationship in the long run.