Survey: Almost a third have experienced financial infidelity | credit cards

An early January survey by US News found that 31.9% of respondents had experienced financial infidelity. This represents an increase of two percentage points compared to last year Jan survey About financial betrayal.

Financial infidelity occurs when a partner hides or lies about a money-related decision. This could include, for example, one of the partners having a secret credit card account or personal debt that was never disclosed.

  • Financial infidelity covers a wide range of actions, including hiding credit card accounts or draining a joint savings account.
  • Victims often spot the scam by noticing that account balances appear to be wrong.
  • Only 10.4% of the victims learned of the financial infidelity by confession.
  • The most common reason to commit financial infidelity is to avoid conflict.

The type of financial infidelity that occurred

Survey participants were asked about the type of financial infidelity that had occurred in their relationships. The most common type of financial betrayal mentioned was making secret purchases.

  • Make discreet purchases: 55%.
  • Hiding debts or accounts: 44.8%.
  • Lying about income: 38.9%.
  • Draining money from savings: 29.3%.
  • Lending money without the partner’s consent: 20.6%.

How did the victims discover the deception?

Respondents who were identified as victims of financial infidelity were asked what alerts them. The most common sign was noticing that account balances didn’t look right.

  • Realized account balances stopped out: 23.5%.
  • Unexpected packages found: 21.8%.
  • Significant purchase noted: 18.8%.
  • Seeing an unknown account statement or collection notice: 15.4%.
  • They heard a confession: 10.4%.
  • Observed confidentiality with electronic devices: 10.1%.

If you see any signs of financial infidelity, it’s a good idea to start a discussion with your partner. In the survey, just over 10% heard an admission of financial fraud. So do not wait for recognition. Be proactive and you may be able to limit the fallout.

Why does financial infidelity happen?

In the survey, we asked respondents who identified the perpetrator to choose why they cheated.

  • Avoiding arguing: 27.3%.
  • Feel more in control of finances: 22.2%.
  • Embarrassed about mishandling money: 21.9%.
  • Willingness to help another person: 13.5%.
  • Stress about living paycheck to paycheck: 9.4%.

Note that the most common reason reflects a desire to avoid conflict. But buying what you want in secret only postpones the controversy. And when the act is exposed, the argument is likely to focus more on the breach of trust than on the purchase in question.

How do couples respond to financial infidelity?

Well, now everything is out in the open. When financial deception enters a relationship, it can create trust issues. So perhaps it is not surprising that 24% are planning a breakup. This is an increase from the 2022 US News Financial Infidelity Survey, which showed that 19.9% ​​of respondents were indecisive.

Respondents were asked to report all actions taken since the infidelity came to light. Here are the results:

  • Talking regularly about finances: 32.9%
  • Budgeting and goal setting: 26.3%.
  • Decides to separate: 24%.
  • Keeping separate funds: 21.2%.
  • No action: 19.1%.
  • Consultation attendance: 9.7%.

Do you share similar views on money?

While few couples agree 100% with everything, it helps when both of you are compatible or at least willing to compromise. Over 44% agree on most or all things about money, and over 22% say they disagree on most or everything.

When those who have experienced financial infidelity were asked if they and their partner had similar views on money, here’s what they reported:

  • We agree on everything: 11.5%.
  • We agree on most things: 32.9%.
  • They agree on some things: 33.2%.
  • Disagree with most things: 14.5%
  • Disagree with everything: 7.9%

Respondents who had not experienced financial infidelity in the past year were also asked about their attitudes towards money. More than 70% of the participants in this group said they agreed with most things.

  • We agree on everything: 16.6%.
  • We agree on most things: 53.8%.
  • They agree on some things: 23.1%.
  • Disagree with most things: 4.7%
  • Disagree with everything: 1.8%

6 keys to a financially healthy relationship

You don’t have financial soulmates to experience a successful and honest financial relationship. Sure, the more topics you agree on, the easier it will be to stay honest.

But even if you’re a spender and your partner is a saver, that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve financial bliss together. It just means that you both have to work on it a little more.

Here are six suggestions to keep you and your loved one on the right track:

  • Define your money personalities. Instead of responding with judgment, celebrate your differences. If you’re not good at spending, your partner will probably have to deal with tracking expenses. The idea is to combine your talents so that you can become financially successful as a couple.
  • Learn the art of compromise. Even among those who haven’t dealt with financial infidelity, nearly a quarter only agree on a few things. This is where leveling must occur. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree on an issue, but then find common ground to set goals.
  • Allow some freedom. More than 22% of offenders cited the need for more control as the main reason for their actions. If that’s an issue, each of you can agree to have one account of your own. The trick, of course, is to make sure you communicate with each other so that it still fits within your budget.
  • Set a budget. More than a quarter of couples say they started budgeting and setting goals in response to cheating. You really can’t stay on a budget if you don’t also track expenses. And then, every four months or so, revisit the budget to make sure it still works for both of you.
  • talk to each other. Hold weekly meetings so you hold each other accountable for staying on budget. Also, be sure to set goals for your retirement savings, 401(k), individual retirement accounts and other investments. Once you start planning how you’re going to spend and save money, you’ll be well on your way to financial freedom as a couple.
  • Get advice. Less than 10% of respondents who have dealt with financial infidelity say they attend counseling. If you have a low amount of credit card debt, credit counseling can help. You can contact The National Corporation for Credit Counseling for more information.

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