New data shows that 42% of couples are keeping financial secrets from their partners, a behavior that is being referred to as “financial infidelity.” A survey conducted by Bankrate found that 30% of respondents admitted to spending more money than their partner would approve of, 23% were hiding secret debt, 19% had secret savings accounts, and 18% had secret credit cards. The survey also revealed that younger generations were more likely to engage in financial infidelity, with 67% of Generation Z, 57% of Millennials, 34% of Generation X, and 33% of Baby Boomers admitting to the behavior.
The main reasons cited for keeping financial secrets were a desire for financial privacy or control (37%), a lack of desire to share or the topic had never come up (33%), and embarrassment about money management habits (28%). Financial expert Roger Reynolds suggests that couples can establish specific amounts of money that they can spend freely, as long as they are transparent with each other about their finances. Reynolds also warns that financial infidelity can be just as harmful to a relationship as physical infidelity.
Overall, the findings suggest that financial secrets are relatively common among couples and can have a significant impact on the stability and trust within a relationship. Transparency and open communication about finances are crucial for fostering healthy and honest partnerships.