42% Have A Bank Account Their Spouse Doesn't Know About - Should You Too?

BANKING - BANKING NEWS
Financial infidelity might be more common than you think.
Updated Jan. 31, 2024
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Would you keep secrets about money from your partner? According to a recent Bankrate study, approximately 42% of people are already doing just that.

This phenomenon, often referred to as "financial infidelity," involves individuals concealing aspects of their finances from their significant others.

While many are already taking part, the trend can cause serious implications for the health of your finances as well as the relationship.

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Who is actually doing this?

The Bankrate study reveals intriguing statistics about financial infidelity. Of the surveyed adults who are married or living with a romantic partner:

  • 30% admitted to spending more than their spouse or partner would approve of.
  • 23% confessed to having secret debt.
  • 19% disclosed having a secret savings account.
  • 17% acknowledged having a secret checking account.
  • 18% revealed they possess a secret credit card.

These figures indicate that a significant portion of couples grapple with transparency when it comes to money matters. The data also shows that Gen Z and Millenials are more likely to hide their finances from their spouses than older generations.

Reasons to open your own secret savings account

Financial analysts, like Ted Rossman, Senior Industry Analyst with Bankrate, shed light on the motivations behind maintaining financial secrets, reports CBS. Privacy and control over finances ranked as the top reasons, with 37% of respondents citing these factors as reasons for financial cheating.

Other motivations include avoiding the topic altogether (33%), embarrassment (28%), preparation for a potential relationship breakdown (17%), lack of trust in the partner's financial responsibility (14%), and even using the money for addictive behaviors (11%).

Rossman notes that while some individuals advocate for separate finances to maintain independence, complete financial separation may not be practical or conducive to a healthy relationship. Many couples marry or live together later in life, and as such already have established finances on their own.

A growing trend is also seen in couples keeping their existing bank accounts, but creating a joint one for expenses as well. It is essential to understand the motivations behind financial secrecy to address the root causes.

When you might want to avoid hiding an account from your spouse

Maintaining a secret bank account or engaging in financial infidelity is not without consequences. Relationships thrive on trust and open communication, and financial secrets can strain these foundations. While some may argue that having financial autonomy is crucial, it's equally important to consider the potential drawbacks:

  • Erosion of trust: Keeping financial secrets can erode trust between partners, leading to strained relationships.
  • Communication breakdown: Avoiding discussions about money may result in communication breakdowns, hindering the couple's ability to plan for the future.
  • Unexpected reactions: The longer financial secrets are kept, the more significant the impact when revealed. Open and honest conversations early on can mitigate negative reactions.
  • Lost opportunities: Joint financial planning allows couples to make informed decisions and capitalize on opportunities that align with shared goals.

While financial autonomy is important for personal freedom, maintaining a secret bank account from your partner requires careful consideration. Transparency and open communication about finances are crucial for building a strong foundation in any relationship. Initiating "money dates" or informal chats, where couples discuss financial goals and responsibilities, can help foster understanding and trust.

Bottom line

Addressing financial matters early on and finding a balance between autonomy and shared responsibilities can contribute to a healthier, more resilient relationship. In the end, it could help both parties get ahead financially. But the key lies in navigating financial discussions with empathy, understanding, and a commitment to shared goals.

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