Some Americans keep financial secrets hidden from loved ones. These secrets include whether or not they are in credit card debt, and the amount.
NerdWallet found in its annual report on consumer credit cards that about one-third of Americans who have credit card debt (33%), say they don’t know how much money they owe. A new NerdWallet study found that two-thirds of Americans think having credit card debt is embarrassing.
In the new NerdWallet online survey, which was conducted by The Harris Poll and included more than 2000 Americans, we asked Americans who have significant other – also known as “partnered Americans”, throughout this report – what financial information, if anything, they keep from their significant others. Also, we asked Americans if they lied to their adult children or parents about their financial situation.
The Key Findings
Over 2/5 of Americans who are in a relationship (43%) have kept financial secrets from their partner. According to the survey, nearly half (49%) of Americans believe that it’s okay to keep savings hidden from your partner.
Parents with children under 18 are more likely to say this than parents without minors (31% vs. 54%). Americans with minor children are more likely than those without to admit this (54% as opposed to 31 %).
Parents share most financial information with their grown-up children. The survey revealed that sixty percent of Americans believe parents should share financial information with their adult kids. And they do. Nearly seventy-four percent (74%) of Americans who have adult children say they never hid or lied to them about their finances.
Melissa Lambarena is a NerdWallet credit card expert. She says that money and communication are not always synonymous. It’s natural to feel ashamed of regrettable financial decisions. However, hiding the truth could cause loved ones to have unrealistic expectations.
Infidelity in financial matters is not uncommon among significant others
Finances can have a big impact on romantic relationships, even if love doesn’t cost anything. Partnered Americans report that 43% have lied or withheld information about their finances from their partners. What is the No. The No. According to the survey, 23% of respondents said they lied about how much money they had spent.
The survey also found that there is a generational difference: Younger partnered Americans are more likely to admit to lying or withholding financial information. This includes 63% of Generation Z (ages 18-26) and 58% of millennials (ages 27-42), compared to 44% for Generation X, and just 19% for baby boomers. The survey also found that there is a difference in age groups: younger partnered Americans with significant others are more likely than married Americans to have lied about their finances or withheld it from them (54% vs. 35%).
Americans have mixed opinions on the issue of whether or not it is OK to keep a secret savings account or credit card that your partner does not know about. Nearly half (49%) of Americans say it’s OK to have a secret credit card that your partner is unaware of. Unmarried Americans, however, are more likely than married Americans to agree with this statement.
Many parents are unaware of their adult children’s finances
According to a survey, 39% of Americans say that they have lied or withheld information about their finances from their parents. About 1 in 5 Americans (21%) say that they have lied about how much money they spent, while 14% claim to be lying about their income.
Americans with minor children are more likely than others to admit to this: according to the survey, 54% of Americans with children aged under 18 have lied or held back financial information to their parents. This compares to 31% among Americans without children. This is the No. The No.
Most adult kids know about their parents’ finances
Most parents are transparent when it comes to their adult children. Just over a quarter (26%) of Americans who have adult children say that they’ve either lied or withheld information about their finances from them. About 1 out of 10 parents who have children older than 18 admit to lying or hiding information regarding their income.
The survey found that 60% of Americans believe parents should share their finances with adult children. The millennial generation is more likely than the baby boomers to agree with this statement (63% to 57% respectively), suggesting that adults are more likely than parents to share their financial information.
Takeaways for Consumers
Why are you keeping your finances from family members? Nearly two thirds (65%) of Americans agree that it’s not necessary to share financial details with loved ones. If you keep financial secrets away from those closest to you it is worth asking yourself why. You might be ashamed of your financial situation or worried about being judged by someone close to you. Financial struggles are not uncommon. You may be surprised that people you trust have the same concerns.
It can be helpful to open up about finances to someone who you trust, if it is safe. It is especially helpful if you are struggling to get out of debt, or have a problem with your spending. A new perspective, financial assistance, or accountability can be a great help.
If you are struggling with money, Lambarena suggests that opening up to a friend or family member about it could be beneficial. You might receive much-needed guidance or understanding if you refuse a costly invitation .”
If it is unsafe for you to discuss your finances with a parent or partner, seek help. Maybe you have lied or held back information because you were afraid of being in an uncomfortable situation. There are many places that can help those who have been abused financially or physically. You can protect yourself financially and seek help if you’re with someone making you feel uncomfortable, no matter what their relationship is with you.
Lambarena says that financial secrets thrive when kept hidden, which can lead to a cycle of abuse or shame. This may prevent you from getting help. If you bring your financial secrets up with a person who is able to offer you a safe environment, such as a family member or professional from a trusted organisation, you may find that you receive the support or guidance you need to succeed financially .”
The Harris Poll conducted this survey online in the U.S. on behalf of NerdWallet between April 27 and May 1, 2023 among 2078 U.S. adult U.S. residents aged 18 or older. Harris’ online polls are measured using Bayesian credible ranges. The sample data for this study is accurate within +/-2.8% using 95% confidence. Contact Lauren Nash, [email protected], for the complete methodology of this survey, which includes weighting variables, subgroup samples sizes and sample size calculations.
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