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Money secrets

Money secrets

Credit: AP

by Terri Gruca

Bio | Email | Follow: @TerriG_KVUE


Posted on July 23, 2010 at 8:07 AM

Are you hiding secrets from your spouse?

A survey of 200 Americans by a North Carolina debt management company found that 80 percent of married couples spend money their spouse doesn’t know about. Nearly one in five has a secret credit card or bank account.

And more 60 percent said they’re keeping money secrets to avoid problems at home.

American Express found similar results: 46 percent of the more than 2,000 people it surveyed have bought something their partner didn’t agree with; 27 percent misrepresented the amount of a purchase; and 30 percent have hidden purchases from their partner. Some people say they’ve gone so far as to hide something in their trunk until their spouse isn’t home.

So have you ever considered how much you could spend without telling your spouse? It’s a question my husband and I were asked as we attended Pre-Cana classes (classes the Catholic church has you attend before getting married). I always thought that was one of the best discussions and really got us to talk about our views on money.

So many people don’t talk about money until it’s an issue. Wise bread recently came up with these five questions all couples should ask or at least talk about:

  1. How do you feel about money and spending? Talk about what money means to you and the type of money environment in which you grew up.
  2. How much debt do you have? Talk about everything from school loans, car loans, to credit card debt.
  3. What is your credit score? Don’t know, you can find out here.
  4. Will this be an open financial partnership? Will you pool your money, have separate checking and savings accounts, split the bills evenly?
  5. What are your financial goals? This is a big one because it can really set the tone for your future. Talk about buying a home, saving for retirement, children and education.