Photo: John Walker/Flickr
A recent AARP study of financial infidelity among couples in the U.S. brought some good news and bad news. On the positive side, the vast majority of adults keep things honest, with 95 per cent saying they don’t keep a secret bank account from their spouse, and more than 80 per cent reporting they don’t hide purchases from their partners either.
But it’s the younger couples we should worry about.
People aged 18 to 49 were more likely to be dishonest about their finances, with 7 per cent revealing they maintain a secret bank account and 20 per cent admitting they know someone else who does the same.
Overall, about one-third of respondents admitted they’ve hidden a purchase from their partner at least once, making it the most common money lie. Right behind were secretly lending money to a family member or friend (8 per cent), credit card debt (6 per cent), and credit card purchases (6 per cent).
The answer to keeping tabs on your partner’s spending might be to rush into opening a joint bank account. More than half of couples say they co-mingle their finances, after all.
But it’s not a fool-proof solution, says Dr. Taffy Wagner, CEO of Money Talk Matters,
“Couples are all in love and want everything to be joint,” she says, “but when they automatically put all of their money in one account and one person is managing it, a lot of the time the other person has no idea what is going on.”