Nearly 1 in 4 people are hiding a financial secret from their partner, new study shows

ATLANTA — Nearly one in four Americans who are in a relationship are hiding financial secrets from their partners, according to a recent survey from bankrate.com.

The survey polled more than 2,500 people who are in a relationship.

It found that 39% of adults who are married or living with a partner said they have kept a financial secret from their current partner.

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More than half of those adults say financial cheating is as bad as physical cheating.

About 12% of those said they would consider it a worse offense than cheating.

“While we get wrapped up in the love, marriage, and partnership, money is hugely personal and intimate portion of our relationship,” licensed psychologist Dr. Rosalyn Pitts Clark told Channel 2′s Karyn Greer.

Ted Jenkin from Oxygen Financial agrees.

“Across five different studies, couples who pull their money through joint bank accounts have greater relationship satisfaction. The primary reasons are not only higher accountability when you have a joint bank account, but there are lower fears of your partner financially cheating,” Jenkin said.

Jenkin also told Greer there is a way to manage your own money and a little self-care spending.

“Have one joint bank account for those bills-in and bills-out type of expenses. But, it’s also important to have your own bank account so you have some individuality and flexibility to buy gifts or do other things,” Jenkin said.

Greer asked metro Atlanta residents what they thought to see if opinions lined up with the Bankrate survey.


“Do you think it’s OK for couples to lie about money alone? Why or why not?” Greer asked.

“I just don’t feel well if I don’t say what I’m doing,” one resident said.

“I think that’s a recipe for disaster,” another person said.

“My sister keeps a little stash in checking like she doesn’t have it,” one man laughed responding to Greer.

“We have one checking account and I don’t want her to see a $2,000 withdrawal. Then she’s like, ‘What happened here?’ When I saw this on TV, I wanted it,” one husband said.

When it comes to generational data, according to the study, 29% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers admitted to lying.

But 63% of Gen Zers and 54% of Millennials are keeping financial secrets.

The respondents considered financial infidelity as having a secret credit card, checking or savings account, spending more than a partner would like or keeping debt a secret.

Pitts Clark said while you may get away with a lie for a while, the truth will come out.

“You will apply for a mortgage, loan or financial aid. When those credit reports come out, that’s not where you want to find out your partner committed financial infidelity,” Pitts Clark said.

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