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Financial Infidelity Sucks

(Are You a Money Cheater?)

There comes a time in every serious relationship when you have to talk about money. Whether you plan to buy a house, retire early or travel the world together, just about every goal you set as a couple will somehow involve your finances.

Unfortunately, studies show 41% of people with combined finances admit to committing financial infidelity in a romantic relationship. Now, you may be asking, what is financial infidelity?

It can include:

  • Hiding a purchase, receipt or cash
  • Concealing an account
  • Lying about income or debt

There are lots of reasons why someone might choose to keep an aspect of their finances hidden from their sweetie. When asked why they committed financial infidelity:

  • 36% said they believe some aspects of their finances should remain private, even from their spouse/partner
  • 26% had discussed finances with their spouse/partner and knew they would disapprove
  • 18% were embarrassed/fearful about their finances
  • 16% had not discussed finances with their spouse/partner, but feared they would disapprove


If your partner seems defensive, withdrawn or agitated about money, or if they keep you from seeing joint statements or bills, it could be a red flag. Ultimately, you are the best judge of your own relationship. If you both agree that some financial aspects should remain private, then you don’t have to reveal everything — and that’s okay until you’re ready to get serious.

But if you’re considering a big step like moving in together, this is the perfect time to start the conversation. It’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into when you sign a contract or open a joint account. Your partner’s finances are now linked to yours and you can be held liable for late payments, debts and damages your partner causes.


When you are ready to start the conversation, just try to be compassionate with yourself and your partner. Talking about money is hard, but if you can come clean about your financial lives, you will be much better prepared to face anything else life throws at you.

As always, we’ve got your back. — The On Your Own Team End of article insignia

[Any reference to a specific company, commercial product, process or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by On Your Own, the National Endowment for Financial Education or any of its affiliate programs.]