As Valentine’s Day approaches, couples across the United States are celebrating love and romance. But for some, infidelity is a bigger issue than many might think. A new survey commissioned by Forbes Advisor shows that financial infidelity is more common than suspected, with 38% of people who are married or in a relationship admitting to dishonestly about debt, keeping a credit card under wraps, hiding purchases from their partner or gambling in secret.
“Financial infidelity is more common than people may realize and can be just as violating and hurtful as romantic infidelity,” said consumer finance and budgeting expert Andrea Woroch. Given that most couples struggle with money matters, there is a lot of potential for financial infidelity, especially when one partner feels pressured to cut back or is dealing with a financial dilemma such as a gambling issue or a shopping dependency.
The survey, conducted by YouGov for Bankrate.com, found that 52% of U.S. adults say financial cheating is at least as wrong as physical cheating. Out of those surveyed, 12% state that financial cheating is worse, while 40% believe it is equally as bad. Forty-eight percent of people think that physical cheating is worse than other types, with 39% of that group believing it is much worse.
64% of Gen Zers and 54% of millennials have admitted to hiding financial information from their partners, while only 29% of Gen Xers and baby boomers have done the same. This shows that the younger generations are more likely to partake in financial infidelity. Generation Z and millennials are largely keeping quiet about their expenditure and the amount of debt they have.
43% of those who are married, in a civil partnership, or cohabiting with a partner completely integrate their finances, while 23% maintain separate finances. The remaining 34% have accounts that are a combination of both joint and individual.
According to Bankrate.com Senior Industry Analyst Ted Rossman, it is essential to be open and truthful when it comes to discussing finances. Achieving financial objectives is difficult enough when both partners are in agreement – it is virtually impossible if they are at odds.
Rossman suggests that couples should consider some degree of financial autonomy, yet it is important that it is agreed upon between them prior to implementing it. Many people find that it is beneficial to have a separate bank account or credit card.
0. “Is financial infidelity putting your relationship at risk?” WJXT News4JAX , 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.news4jax.com/money/2023/02/13/is-financial-infidelity-putting-your-relationship-at-risk
1. “Most Americans Think Lying About Money Is As Bad as Cheating” Fatherly, 7 Feb. 2023, https://www.fatherly.com/news/most-americans-think-lying-about-money-as-bad-as-cheating
2. “Survey: Nearly 1 in 4 Americans in relationships are hiding financial secrets from their partners” Yahoo Life, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/survey-nearly-1-4-americans-140924541.html
3. “Most millennials and Gen Z are hiding their spending habits from their partners. Many consider that worse than physical cheating” Yahoo! Voices, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/now/most-millennials-gen-z-hiding-181735835.html
4. “Almost 1 in 4 Americans are committing ‘financial infidelity' according to a survey. What exactly is it?” WCNC.com, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.wcnc.com/article/money/financial-infidelity-survey-money-bankrate/275-9a7a1f22-ec2c-4ee3-a341-414989d95c75
5. “Survey Says 39% of Adults Hiding Money from Their Spouse or Partner” KNSI, 9 Feb. 2023, https://knsiradio.com/2023/02/09/survey-says-39-of-adults-hiding-money-from-their-spouse-or-partner
6. “Nearly 2 in 5 In Relationships Have Committed Financial Infidelity and More Than Half Believe it’s at Least as Bad as Physical Cheating” The Southern Maryland Chronicle, 10 Feb. 2023, https://southernmarylandchronicle.com/2023/02/10/nearly-2-in-5-in-relationships-have-committed-financial-infidelity-and-more-than-half-believe-its-at-least-as-bad-as-physical-cheating/