Breaking News
More () »

Almost 1 in 4 Americans are committing 'financial infidelity' according to a survey. What exactly is it?

Bankrate found nearly a quarter of Americans in relationships aren't truthful with their partners when it comes to money.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Feb. 14 is yet another Valentine's Day, a day for both budding romances and long-lasting love to be honored. Sweets, affectionate acts, and red roses are part of the typical day for couples.

But could you or your partner be committing financial infidelity? The experts at Bankrate warn that's a red flag that's brighter than the roses.

According to a Bankrate survey, about 23% of Americans in relationships are keeping money-related secrets, from hidden bank accounts to hiding online purchases. About 39% of coupled Americans have been financially unfaithful, with another 30% having kept some money details under the table in the past.

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

Ted Rossman, a senior industry analyst at Bankrate, urges couples to have the money talk, and often.

“It’s so important to communicate openly and honestly about money,” he said. “It’s hard enough to accomplish your financial goals when you’re working together — it’s almost impossible if you’re pulling in different directions.” 

That lines up with what Americans also told Bankrate about their thoughts on financial cheating; 52% say it's just as bad as a physical affair, with 12% of those respondents saying it's even worse. Notably, 24% of people who have kept a financial secret from their current partner agree as well.

You can stream WCNC Charlotte on Roku and Amazon Fire TV, just download the free app.

Beyond secret bank accounts and unrevealed spending, Bankrate respondents confessed to hiding debt, keeping a secret savings account, and maintaining a secret credit card as well. Rossman notes that having some separate accounts is perfectly acceptable. But talking about it is key.

“Many couples want some form of financial independence, which is totally fine as long as it’s acknowledged ahead of time,” he said. “Having a separate bank account or credit card works for a lot of people.”

As far as who is keeping secrets, Bankrate found 29% of Gen Xers and baby boomers admitted to it, but 63% of Gen Zers and 54% of millennials are keeping them too.

Before You Leave, Check This Out