Many Americans keep money secrets from partners and parents, survey finds

40% of Americans think credit card debt is embarrassing
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 3:36 PM CDT
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(InvestigateTV) — More than 40% of Americans are withholding or lying about financial information to a significant other, according to NerdWallet’s financial infidelity study.

The survey also found nearly half of Americans believe it’s okay to have savings their significant other doesn’t know about.

Melissa Lambarena, a credit card expert at NerdWallet, said income and the amount spent on a purchase were the top two reasons people hid or lied about money.

“A money secret can potentially be harmful or hinder your financial goals depending on the situation,” Lambarena explained. “And if this is the case, you might be met with much needed guidance or advice or support if you’re able to consult someone.”

Lambarena said those keeping a money secret may want to look at why they are holding back.

She said secret keepers may want to consider opening up to someone, like an expert at a nonprofit credit counseling agency or a trusted friend.

“If you think about it, if you’re able to be met with much needed support or guidance, then when you decline those pricey invitations or that expensive destination wedding, you’ll be met with the support you need to stay on track with your goals,” Lambarena said.

She also emphasized there are situations where hiding money from a partner is needed, such as planning to leave a domestic violence situation.

In those cases, Lambarena said there are outside organizations that offer help, including the American Bar Association, which offers ways to obtain low-cost legal assistance.

NerdWallet has a thorough article on How to Prepare Financially to Leave an Abusive Relationship.