Nearly half of all people have lied to their significant other about money, according to a new "Financial Infidelity" survey of 23,000 online users by TODAY.com and SELF magazine.
Hiding purchases in the back of the closet and withdrawing money from joint bank accounts without telling their partners were just a few of the ways couples said they'd fibbed about finances.
Women, it turns out, were the worse offenders, out-lying the men 56 percent to 37 percent, according to TODAY.com. According to the survey, the most common thing women were untruthful about was shopping, such as saying something was bought on sale when it was actually full price.
Less than 10 percent of women said they kept any serious secrets from their partner though, such as hiding a credit card or a bank account, and both sexes agreed on the significance of lying about money: 60 percent of those surveyed felt that being dishonest about finances is a form of cheating and two-thirds felt that honesty about money is just as important as being monogamous.
Those behind the survey advised couples to be up front with each other about their spending habits in the beginning of a relationship, no mater how uncomfortable broaching the subject might be.
"Discussing money can be very awkward, but it is important to have this conversation with your partner early on," SELF Editor-in-Chief Lucy Danziger said in a press release announcing the survey results. "To have a successful relationship, you need to have trust and hiding money secrets is a huge way to break that confidence. Open up about past debts, then lay some ground rules for the future and have a mutual agreement on your expenses. This openness will save you from many fights in the end and lead to a much healthier relationship."
Martin Wolk, executive business editor for TODAY.com, added, "It's one thing to fib about a new pair of shoes, but keeping serious money secrets from one another - about problems with debt or spending - can be a recipe for disaster."
The survey adds to a long list of research that shows money can prove to be a difficult subject for those in relationships. Earlier this year, another survey of by Yahoo! and Fitness magazine found that couples fight about money more than about chores, kids, sex or in-laws. A 2009 study took things a step further and found that arguing about money is the best predictor of divorce.