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Financial infidelity can lead to serious relationship problems

(KOMO file photo)

Here's something to think about as you get ready to celebrate Valentine's Day: Are you cheating on your significant other? Not sexually... monetarily?

About 15 million Americans have a credit card, checking or savings account that their partner or spouse doesn't know about, according to a new report from CreditCards.com. Only half of those surveyed strongly believe their spouse or partner is honest with them about money.

Liz Weston, personal financial columnist for NerdWallet, says financial infidelity can cause serious problems in a relationship.

"People think they can tell little white lies, like 'oh this old thing, I've had it forever,' or not be honest about where there money is, and the reality is every lie undermines the relationship,” Weston said. “Every time that you're not honest about where you stand financially, you're undermining the relationship."

That doesn't mean you can't have your own credit card or no-questions asked spending money, just don’t hide it. (This advice may not apply if you’re in some sort of abusive relationship and need to sock away money. That’s an entirely different issue.)

"Each partner needs to know where the other stands and what's being spent. You can't get together on your goals if you don't know what you're doing with your money,” Weston said.

More Info: Financial infidelity poll: 31% say hiding accounts worse than cheating

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