photo © 2010 Jaci Berkopec | more info (via: Wylio)A new study by the National Endowment for Financial Education and Forbes says 1 in 3 couples who have combined their finances, admit they have been keeping financial secrets from the other.
The leading money crimes were hiding cash, minor purchases and bills. Meanwhile, a significant number of people admitted hiding major purchases, keeping secret bank accounts and lying about their debt or earnings.
According to the survey, over half of all financial cheaters admitted hiding cash (58%) or minor purchases (54%). NEFE’s Beck says this is particularly concerning, as small lies often compound over time to become increasingly larger and more harmful deceptions. Of the offenders, 30% have hidden a bill, 16% have hidden a major purchase, 15% had a secret bank account, 11% lied about their debts and another 11% lied about the amount of money they earned.
“Money provides a potential conflict point in a relationship. But it also can be something that draws a couple closer,” says Ted Beck, president and CEO of NEFE. “Couples should talk openly about money, and do so early in the relationship. Each person should understand their partner’s values about money. In doing so, they have a better chance to build a more stable relationship, both emotionally and financially.”
According to the survey, of those who committed a financial deception:
- Nearly three in five of these adults (58 percent) say they hid cash from their partner or spouse.
- More than half of these adults (54 percent) hid a minor purchase from their partner or spouse.
- An additional 30 percent hid a statement or a bill from their partner or spouse.
- Thirty four percent of these adults say they lied about finances, debt, money earned.
The survey also finds that:
- Another one in three adults (32 percent) who have ever combined finances say a partner/spouse has committed at least one of the listed financial deceptions against them.
- More than two out of three adults (68 percent) say a current and/or past relationship was affected by the financial deceptions that were committed.
- More than two out of five of these adults (42 percent) say it caused less trust in the relationship.
- Nearly one in five adults (19 percent) say it led to the separation of combined finances.
- Sixteen percent of these adults say it ultimately resulted in divorce.
- Women are more likely than men to say their partner or spouse lied to them about finances, debt, money earned (65 percent vs. 47 percent respectively).