Gender makes a difference when it comes to financial “infidelity,” according to a poll by CreditCards.com.
When it comes to hiding savings, about 72% of women said they’d hidden savings compared to just 26% of men.
It’s not known why women are more likely to hide an account, but it could be because they have a greater need for security, says Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research for CreditCards.com.
Or they may be less optimistic about the long-term health of the relationship, Woolsey says.
Men are more likely to have a secret credit card, while women are more likely to keep a closeted savings account. Woolsey says that it’s a good idea for all consumers to have credit in their own name.
About 92% of those polled say that they never hide the details of their financial lives from a significant other. But of those who do, the thing they are most often hiding is a credit card account.
Some 67% of those who said they kept a financial secret from their spouse confessed that it was a hidden credit card account. Roughly 45% had secret savings accounts; 38% had hidden checking accounts. About 18% of respondents said they had a financial secret, but wouldn’t tell what it was. The numbers add to more than 100, because some people hide multiple accounts.
Unmarried partners are more likely to hide finances. Only 5% of married couples said they kept financial secrets from one another, while 19% of unmarried respondents kept their finances close to the vest.
Couples say they don’t need to discuss every dime before they spend it. On average, couples said they can spend $266 without permission from the spouse.
GfK Roper conducted the survey of 1,005 American adults.
Another recent new survey from Self magazine conducted in connection with Today.com, says more than 60% of men and women said, whether it’s financial or sexual, they think cheating is cheating.
Even though about 50% admit to lying to their partner about money, at the same time, more than two-thirds of people think being honest about money is as important to the health of the relationship as being monogamous.
But that doesn’t seem to stop over half of them from lying about their spending, and women lie the most.
“And it turns out to be mostly about little things, like the cost of highlights or handbags,” says Sara Wells, a senior editor at Self magazine. “One woman said she wasn’t going to tell her husband about the price of the goody-bags for her five year old daughter’s birthday party.”
Money can create stumbling blocks for relationships, and Wells says it doesn’t seem to help when about half of us are lying about it.
“Thirteen percent of people said that financial infidelity led to a breakup or divorce, and more than 50% said it definitely caused the relationship to go through some rocky times,” she says. “So basically, people think lying about money can do the same to a relationship as cheating.”