Roughly five percent of American adults have a bank or credit card account that their spouse, partner or significant other doesn’t know about, according to a poll conducted by CreditCards.com.
The poll, released Tuesday, surveyed people on a broad range of opinions regarding “financial infidelity,” or hiding debt, expenditures and financial info from a romantic partner. And while the majority of American adults agree that making large purchases without talking it over with the other person while in a serious relationship is wrong, a sizable minority continues to do so.
According to the poll, older people were more likely to admit to having lied or hidden something from their partner, especially among those aged 50 to 64, also known as the Baby Boomer generation, with 11 percent saying they had a hidden account. However, older Americans are also more likely to be accepting of a partner making a large purchase without talking it over first.
Millenials, on the other hand, are far more likely to be upset if their partner spends $500 or more without telling them, with just 24 percent saying they would be OK with it, compared to 42 percent of Baby Boomers. Fewer millenials also admit to hiding assets, with just three percent saying they do, compared to 11 percent of Baby Boomers, per CBS News.
The poll also found no difference when it came to political affiliation. Democrats, Republicans and independents were all equally likely to conceal finances from their partner.
“Keeping secrets in your relationships is never a good idea,” Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, said in a statement. “Like any indiscretion, what starts out small tends to build. Spending $25 without consulting your partner may seem incidental, but when those purchases become more frequent or if the amount grows, it can wreak havoc on your accounts and your budget.”
Friction over finances is the leading cause of stress in a relationship, according to a 2015 study conducted by SunTrust Bank, with 35 percent of people saying that was the primary reason for arguments, per CNBC.
An academic study from 2012 also found that arguing about money puts couples at a greater risk of divorce, per The Huffington Post.