10% of 18-34 year-olds think their partner is lying about money

If you’re worried about your partner lying about money, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by Opinium for Hargreaves Lansdown, 10% of people aged between 18 and 34 feel their partners are not being completely honest when it comes to money. And that’s just the tip of the […]

If you’re worried about your partner lying about money, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by Opinium for Hargreaves Lansdown, 10% of people aged between 18 and 34 feel their partners are not being completely honest when it comes to money. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

[top_pitch]

In a world where ‘honesty in marriage’ seems so important, it appears that the rules don’t apply when it comes to finances. But what exactly does that mean for couples and should you change your habits?

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown explains, “Couples don’t necessarily have to open up about every last penny they spend: plenty of couples agree to keep some things to themselves. But you need to share the important issues and commit to telling the truth, or you could drag both of you into financial trouble.”

Why couples lie about money

When Opinium interviewed 2,000 people for Hargreaves Lansdown, they discovered that financial lies are more common than expected. About 4% of those interviewed said they lie about money even though they promise their partners they don’t. And while married couples are more likely to agree to total financial honesty, people who live together are actually more likely to be open about money. 

And while there’s nothing wrong with keeping some financial information private – such as an inexpensive purchase or having your own emergency fund – regularly lying to your partner about finances can lead to major problems down the line.

According to Coles, “It can mean missed bills and dangerous hidden debts, and it can test a relationship to breaking point.”

Lying about money: the who and why

The research by Hargreaves Lansdown discovered that the large majority of people don’t lie about their expenses. Instead, they lied about their savings. Of those surveyed, 48% confessed to lying about how much money they put away.

Debt is another major lie, especially among married couples, where 32% admit to hiding debt from their spouses. Among couples who live together, only 24% lie about debt. When it comes to actual spending, women (35%) are more likely to lie than men (14%).

[middle_pitch]

Why lying about money can ruin a relationship

Once you’re married, debts are no longer just yours. Even if a debt is just in your name, owing a lot of money might mean you cannot keep up with bills. You might also be unable to take out a joint mortgage in the future if you don’t pay your debts.

Joint debts are even more of a problem as you’ll both be liable for them. This is true even if you use a joint credit card without telling your partner. If you stop paying off that card or miss some payments, then your partner’s credit rating can be just as damaged as yours.

According to experts, financial cheating can be anything from hiding a bill to having a secret bank account. And while a small lie here and there is probably not a relationship-breaker, constantly lying to your partner about money is a sign of a deeper issue.  

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