Survey Says: Financial Cheating Common In American Couples

Have you been keeping a close eye on your joint piggy bank? Or perhaps you’ve got your very own credit card you keep separate from your significant other, the one you use to buy the things you don’t want to admit to (season 5 of that awful reality TV show, a giant wheel of cheese, etc.). You aren’t the only financial cheater — a new survey says there are a whole bunch of us taking financial matters to motels that charge by the hour, so to speak.

A survey by says 7.2 million Americans have a secret credit card or bank account they hide from their partner, and 20% of us have hidden a purchase of over $500 or more from that special someone.

Men are a bit worse than women, with around 4.4 million hiding accounts and 26% of them spending more than $500 without telling their spouse or live-in partner.

You’re more likely to spend in secret if you’re in the $50,000-$74,999 household income range, and if you’re between the ages of 18 and 29, according to the survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

And perhaps because the fellas are doing the financial cheating more often, 31% of men said they’re totally cool with their significant other spending more than $500 without telling them, compared to the only 18% of women who wouldn’t be bothered by it.

“These secrets are a recipe for disaster,” says Matt Schulz,’s senior industry analyst. “If you and your significant other aren’t honest with each other about what you’re spending, you never really know how much money you have and that can lead to big problems.”

Others would prefer to keep a tight rein on household budgets, with 31% of Americans saying their loved one shouldn’t be able to spend more than $100 without coughing up the truth.

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