Money Secrets Are Rare

Think your spouse is hiding money? A new study says it’s not likely, but more common among the young.


A new AARP study says few couples admit to having secret bank accounts (five percent), but some do sneak in purchases…

  • Hidden purchases are also rare, but not as rare as hidden bank accounts. Slightly under one in five (17%) say they have hidden any purchases from their spouse or partner in the last year, though again, younger respondents were more likely than those 50+ to have done so (23% vs 12%).
  • For those respondents who have not hidden purchases from a spouse or partner in the last year, almost one quarter (24%) say they have ever hidden purchases from their spouse or partner. In total, about one-third (34%) of respondents say they have hidden purchases from a spouse or partner either in the past year or ever.
  • When respondents were asked if they had withheld information about specific financial matters, the most commonly withheld topics were related to lending money to a friend or family member (8%), the amount of credit card purchases (6%), and amount of their debt (6%). Younger respondents were more likely to have withheld information on any of the topics asked than older respondents (27% vs. 12%).

About half said they had only a joint bank account. The study was based on 1,263 interviews with adults who were married or living with a partner.

Stacy Johnson

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