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September 25, 2021

Have you ever lied to your partner about money?

According to a recent study, roughly one in five couples have deceived their partners when it comes to money. Are you among them?

Eighteen per cent of Canadians admit they've kept a secret from their partner about how much money they have spent, saved or have hidden. Thirteen per cent of females admit to secret spending, for instance, compared to only six per cent of males.

In another study, close to 20 per cent of all men and women admit the reason they hide their spending habits is because the truth would worry their partner or cause friction in their relationship.

That's nice of them, except that not being upfront about money has a lot more to do with power and control than hurt feelings. 

It's all about trust and communication, of course. In some instances though, it's also a question of you not paying enough attention to someone else's foibles.

Here are a few ways to help identify whether your spouse might be in a spending crisis and what you might do about it.

* Hiding the mail: Does your partner insist on getting the mail and when he or she does, do you notice there’s not a lot of it? Many spouses with spending problems retrieve the mail and hide the bills. Or they may have all the financial info sent to their email account

* New items in the home: Have you noticed new jewelry, electronics, clothing or anything else unusual that you didn’t discuss buying with your partner? If so, he or she could be buying on impulse. Check credit card statements and bank statements; if these items can’t be found broach the subject with your significant other.

* Paying the bills: If your spouse insists on paying the bills and doesn’t share financial information with you that could mean something is wrong. Offer to help pay the bills and make a point to sit down and look over the statements while they're being paid.

Is your money relationship on the up and up? Has it always been this way? Are there any situations when it's justified to lie about money to your spouse?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...