There are different ways to cheat on your partner – and one way to do it is with money. According to a new survey from CreditCards.com, 8% of Americans admit to having a savings account that their spouse or partner doesn’t know about. The most common explanation for their secrecy is that the issue never came up or they never felt the need to share (31% of respondents). A quarter of people are embarrassed by the way they handle money, 14% don’t trust their partner with money — and 13% use money to support an addiction. Yeah.
Certainly, there are valid reasons for keeping a bank account secret. Some people start saving to get out of bad situations like domestic violence. “Apart from the horrible situation of abuse, secret accounts do not serve a positive purpose. It’s more important to maintain strong trust and open lines of communication,” says Sonya Lutter, Certified Financial Professional and Director of Institutional Research and Education at Herbers & Company Academy. Other pros say there may be other reasons that also make sense. “If you’re a saver and you know your spouse or partner is a spendthrift and can’t control their spending, then a secret account or savings account may be in order,” says Grace Yung, certified financial planner at Midtown Financial Group. .
But unless you have a good reason to keep the money a secret, the pros say it’s best to establish those good saving habits in your home.
Learn to be open about money by having monthly money talks
For couples who are just starting to discuss their finances and work out cash flow and a budget, it’s good to set aside time to touch base, says Krista Aliga, Certified Financial Planner at Personal Capital. “It doesn’t have to be long, you can set it up like a casual date with coffee. As couples continue their conversations, that frequency might decrease – once a month is fine. almost every couple to review the previous month and check the month ahead,” says Aliga. “A big part of what makes money such an emotionally charged topic is that so many people think it’s is taboo to talk about it. Even if you choose to keep most of your finances separate, I still think it’s important to discuss money issues early and often in a relationship. One way or another, your financial lives are intertwined.
Set savings goals
What do you want to save for, together and individually, and how do you do it? When asking these questions, note that having 3-9 months of spending in an emergency fund as one of your goals is essential if you haven’t already. Consider other savings goals, like a down payment on a house or saving for a special vacation. “Funds for these goals can be placed in separate sub-accounts so they don’t get mixed up with money set aside in an emergency fund,” says Chanelle Bessette, banking specialist at NerdWallet.