Are You Hiding Spending from A Spouse or Partner? If So, You're Hardly Alone.


C’mon, admit it – you’ve hidden spending from your spouse.

I know I have. When I need a new putter to reinvigorate my short game on the green, I hit Golf Galaxy and get the wand I need - without telling the Golden Goddess.

Seems like I’m not alone.

According to a study from, 60% of Americans say they’ve hidden a purchase from a spouse or significant other.

U.S. financial consumers do draw the line at not acknowledging debt with a spouse or partner, as I do.

Buying a $100 Ping putter is light years away from hiding a big gambling debt or the fact that you haven’t paid your auto loan bill in two months. Only 6.9% of Americans admit they still hide household financial debt from their significant other.

The MyBankTracker study asked survey respondents two key questions – and here’s how they answered them (directly from the study.)

1. How much have you secretly spent without telling your spouse or partner?

--- 33.4% of women never secretly spent without telling their partner compared with 25.4% of men.

--- The most honest age group is the 65+ age group with 44.3% responding that they never spent without telling their partner. The 25-34 age group (Millennials) were least honest about money, with only 21.1% responding that they never spent without telling their partner. Perhaps surprisingly, the 18-24 age group were the second most honest about money, with 38.7% responding they never spent without telling their partner, behind on the 65+ age group in our survey.

--- Geographically, the West coast respondents were the most honest about money, with 33.8% responding that they never spent without telling their partner. The West coast was followed by the South at 30%, the Midwest at 27.3%, while the Northeast respondents were the least honest to their partner about spending money with only 25.3% responding that they never spent without telling their partner.

2. When did you reveal your debt to your spouse or partner?

--- 59.7% of respondents didn’t have any significant debt to hide while 29.1% of respondents disclosed their debt while dating.

--- 62.2% of men didn’t have any major debt to hide, while 57.4% of women responded that they did.

--- 6.6% of women are still hiding their debt to their partner, compared with 7.3% of men.


One simple way to keep household spending on the up-and-up is to keep all the money in a joint bank account. Another is to be candid when you make an expensive purchase (let’s categorize that as $250 and up, although each financial consumer’s situation is unique and that figure can go lower or higher.)

MyBankTracker also advises sharing access to personal financial management tools that show all household spending in one graphic (think Mint or Personal Capital). That way, it’s easy to see where all the household money is going, allowing discussions to commence and decisions, both easy and difficult, to be made.

My hidden golf spending likely wouldn’t survive those “reveal” scenarios, but that’s okay. I’ll trade a few 10-foot putts holed on the weekend for financial harmony in my home – for now, anyway.