Have you ever cheated financially?

In one survey, fifty percent of respondents had lied to their partner/spouse about their spending.I just read an interesting article discussing financial infidelity. The poll done by creditcards.com said of the 67% of those that keep a financial secret from their spouse confessed it was a hidden credit card; 45% had a secret savings account; 38% a hidden checking account and 18% of respondents had a financial secret but wouldn’t share it.

I’m not surprised by these stats in the least. When I was married we had a plan for how we would combine our income to pay bills, invest monthly and each have some play money to spare. This agreement worked fine and we rarely had any issues. But I still had a credit card in my name only to help build my credit score. This was a strong lesson I learned at 19 when my parents divorced and none of the established credit was in my mom’s name.

My credit card was not a secret but how much I spent or what was owed on it was. It was just easier than having the “talk” every single month about why I needed the purchase, what it had cost and what it would do to the monthly bottom line. The survey results support that I am not alone in my thinking. Fifty percent of the respondents had lied to their partner/spouse about their spending. Over little things such as clothes or how much it cost to have their hair done. Again I believe it is so you don’t have to justify your actions for the purchase or have any bad feelings about it in anyway.

The funny thing is now that I’m on my own I actually go through the “talk” in my head. Is this a want or a need? What will the cost do to the amount I have to put toward savings? Can I really afford this?

So my reasons for cheating are my own but I wondered how many of you have cheated financially? Do you too have dirty money secrets?

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14 Responses to Have you ever cheated financially?

  1. Tina says:

    My husband and I don’t have any financial secrets but we do have a % of our paychecks deposited in our own checking accounts (play funds) to do what we want with plus allows credit to be establish in just our names.

    Comment for all those ladies out there, get 1 or 2 of the utilities in your name. They seem to be the companies that are the most strict when it comes to being on your own.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I use to hide purchases in the trunk of my car and bring them in when my husband wasnt home, and to this day – he has no idea how much I actually spend at Starbucks!

  3. ellen g says:

    Seeing that I’m single and do not have to
    account to anyone else, I do not have to hide
    money. However, I hide money from myself ..I
    always make sure I have a “pad” hidden in my
    checking account for an emergency … and
    forget about it.
    Even if I was married and had a joint
    checking account/savings …. I would still
    want my own accounts – and that would go
    for credit cards also. Then you don’t have
    to cheat.

  4. LauraB says:

    While I’m not married (and therefore can’t “financially cheat”), I am very secretive about my finances. I think it is only my business what I spend money on and I don’t need to justify anything to anyone given that I make a comfortable living. If I were ever to get married, I’m fairly certain that I would have to have a designated portion set aside for my unfettered use no questions asked (a girl’s got to have shoes!).

  5. Anonymous says:

    We really don’t have any big financial secrets (at least that I know of!). We have joint bank accounts, and it forces us to discuss large purchases, or when things get tight, manage expenses accordingly. We have separate credit cards and some separate investment accounts. I’m the “saver”, and my husband is the “spender”, so fortunately I manage the bills!! Recently, I have seen financial secrets really hurt a friend’s marriage, and it is getting uglier and uglier. My personal opinion is that by keeping financial accounts separate and not sharing their financial position that they’ve never been forced to face the reality of what they have, what they each need to do to contribute, and what they can spend.

  6. Jean Chatzky says:

    My husband and I — as I know I’ve written here before — have yours, mine and ours accounts. He doesn’t seem to care about how much of my money I spend on me or the kids, but he’s strange about how much I spend on him! We had a little to-do over some ties I bought him (that he loved, by the way). He asked how much they cost. I stupidly told him. And his immediate response (they were really nice ties and I was in the mood to splurge on him!) was “take them back!” I refused. Eventually, he agreed to acknowledge that I got pleasure in picking them out and seeing him wear them. But when he recently asked the question about a shirt, I dodged the question. I suppose that’s better than an outright lie? What do you think?

    • Lisa Ardrey Lisa Ardrey says:

      Dodging is a great tactic that I belive many people use. You could also tell him the cost was double what it actually is and then tell him the truth and hopefully he’d be relieved.

  7. Abs says:

    Oh my goodness… what a reief that I am not a terrible person (that IS what the survey supported, right? ;) ) I do have a small financial “secret” from my husband. ALthough he knows about my CCs (yes, plural) he does not know about their balance. I am comfortable with the fact that if I needed to buckle down & pay them off I could, so i feel that its not a “dirty secret”. I think in the world we live in it is important for a woman to be comfortable with her finances and able to manage her spending. My husband & I share responsibilites of the bills with a joint checking account and savings account, but we each have a seperate personal checking account. There is no need for me to know why he spent $6.78 at the gas station, or him to know why I spent $30.45 at Ann Taylor. As long as the bills are paid & our savings account is progressing, I don’t see a need to nit pick every dollar & cent. That is my $0.02!

    One final PS – I also am a firm believer in personal responsibilty. Although I don’t ever see myself in a divorce situation i know that life is unpredictable. I know that if that were to happen i would take complete responsibilty for my financial decisions. My credit card bills would be mine…

  8. Carrie says:

    Like Jean mentioned, my husband and I have his, hers and ours accounts. Our “personal” accounts are used to pay ‘personal’ bills– eg, cell phone, lunch at work or dinner with the girls, little shopping sprees, etc. The “joint” accounts pay household bills, cover major purchases and the kids (although, I do find that I pay a lot of that from my personal acct. Hmmmm…).

    I guess I would say I ‘cheat’ when I use the joint account to buy lunch, get a mani/pedi, or something like that. But since I cover ‘joint’ expenses from my ‘personal’ account, too, I really wouldn’t consider myself a cheater. But, that sentiment could just be rationalization in my own head … and my side winning.

  9. Stacy says:

    My husband and I maintain separate accounts. He is a “balance to the penny” kind of guy and I am a “that sounds about right” girl. Basically, my way drives him crazy. He also handles more the more traditional monthly bills (i.e. mortgage and utility) as spending money at Target causes him to hyperventilate. He understands that we need food, diapers, clothes, etc. but has a hard time with it. We do a monthly check-in on where things stand and if a big expense (i.e. ear tubes for my son) comes up we shift money around so it’s a shared expense.

    I work hard, so I have no problem spending a little money on myself – clothes, dinner out with girlfriends, etc. If I go a little overboard, I take the difference out of my savings and try to watch my expenses a little more the next month. Likewise, when I see my husband with a new tool or car part, I trust that he’s got it covered.

    I am a Wells Fargo employee

  10. HSHT says:

    We’re long time happily married and function as a single unit. While my husband makes the bulk of the income, he really only looks for a weekly cash “allowance” to cover normal expenses (lunch, gas, etc.)All our accounts are joint and I handle most of the finances. We both colaborate on any substantial purchases. We’re big savers and thus controlling buying habits has never been a problem. No need for financial secrets.

  11. Ann Veitinger says:

    Great article and very important topic. I remember making it my life’s mission after divorce to educate young women about the “secret bank account.” You took it so much farther by educating women to establish credit in their own name. Thanks.

  12. Isabelle says:

    I am getting married this year and we are planning on keeping separate checking/brokerage accounts and opening a new checking account just for our joint expenses such as mortgage and utilities. I have my own credit history, so does he and we want to keep it that way.

  13. clm says:

    I have been married twice and have always maintained separate bank accounts. I am the primary income provider in my household so I am definitely the one making most of the purchase decisions. Although the burden of being the primary provider is sometimes a heavy one, it also provides a certain amount of independence. Now in my 50s, I don’t think I could ever report to anyone about my spending. So, no dirty secrets, but I’ve been burned by my partner’s secrets before.

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