Is Your Spouse Hiding Money from You?
Is Your Spouse Hiding Money From You?
Talking about money, especially with your significant other, can be tough.
That's part of the reason why, in a recent poll conducted for CreditCards.com, 1 in 20 Americans living with a spouse or partner admitted to having a bank account or credit card their beloved didn't know about.
Researchers multiplied that percentage by the number of adults in the U.S. to determine that—if poll results speak for the general population—nearly 13 million Americans are hiding financial information.
The survey also looked at the "spending threshold" for secret purchases. In other words, how much money one spouse should be able to spend without telling their partners.
Of those polled:
- 41 percent said they would be fine with their partner spending 0 or less without telling them
- 24 percent said that limit should be purchases over 0
- 19 percent said theyhad spent more than 0 without telling their partner
Men were almost twice as likely than women to have spent 0 without telling their partners.
The good news is that "financial infidelity" typically isn't an indicator of actual infidelity, experts say. Clandestine lines of credit usually crop up around "misunderstandings about how to manage money in the relationship," or even from—wait for it—good motives.
Chuck Bentley, CEO of Crown, a large Christian financial ministry based in Knoxville, TN, told CreditCards.com that sometimes people are trying to solve a problem, such as financing a business, without involving their spouse. "They have good intentions, but it goes really bad," he said.
Some people run up debt then scramble to eliminate it before their partner finds out. When Navicore Solutions, a national nonprofit counseling agency, receives those kinds of calls, it will often "push [the couple] to have that uncomfortable conversation," said Kim Cole, the agency's education outreach coordinator.
"There are a lot of hurt feelings and a lot of anger, but when they come clean, it tends to be a bit cathartic for the relationship," Cole said.
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