Financial Infidelity: Are You Guilty?

Anna Williams
Posted

financial infidelityInfidelity in marriages is on the rise.

Well, financial infidelity, anyway. In a new National Endowment for Financial Education/Harris Interactive survey, one out of three American couples fessed up to financially cheating on their spouses.

Not surprisingly, the survey also found that lying about money can put a huge strain on marriages: 76% of respondents said that financial infidelity had an effect on their relationships.

So, just what kind of transgressions are Americans concealing from their partners? About 30% of those surveyed copped to covering up a purchase or hiding a bank account or bill from a spouse. But even more disconcerting: A full 13% admitted to some serious deceptions, like lying about the amount of debt that they owe—or even how much they really earn. And it’s this type of lie—the more severe ones—that has been on the rise since 2011, this year’s survey found.

“You would think with the recession that people are talking to each other more about money,” Ted Beck, president and C.E.O. of the National Endowment for Financial Education, told CNBC. “But people are continuing bad habits.”

Want to buck the trend? Find out how to tackle the money talk with your partner, and read how three real couples finally got on the same financial page in their marriage—and grew closer because of it.