If you’ve heard utterings lately of “financial infidelity,” aka when you keep money secrets from your spouse, that’s because it’s a trending topic. In fact, a recent study by personal finance company SoFi found that 42 percent of adults have lied to their S.O. about what something cost in order to avoid conflict, and 11 percent even admitted to keeping a secret bank account. So we put out a poll of our own, asking women in our lives to fess up—anonymously—about any cash they’ve concealed. But is keeping a bit of your own business private actually a form of emotional cheating, or simply a sign of healthy independence? Either way, our lips are sealed.
I keep cash he doesn't know about
“My mom once told me to always carry cash, because your husband doesn't need to know every time you get your nails done (i.e., if you put something on a credit card, he can see the exact charge). My husband is an accountant so he's super on top of our finances. I totally pay for things in cash when I don't want to get questioned.”—L., married 4 years
I told him the bag cost "just under $1,000"
"I spent $2,000 on a YSL bag but told him it was just under $1,000...because I knew he could hardly stomach the fake number." —M., married 12 years
I lied about my inheritance
"I didn't tell my spouse my parents gifted me a secret stash of savings...Oops. Still haven't told him." —W., married 1 year
I spent over a grand on clothes I never wore
“I got caught up in an online shopping fantasy and spent $1,600 on an outfit for my husband’s office holiday party. Our babysitter bailed last minute, and we ended up staying home. It’s still hanging in my closet untouched. And I never, ever told him.” —S., married 9 years
I never told him my alternative doctor doesn't take our insurance
"Every year or so I like to take my kids to more alternative-leaning doctors (my husband calls them “witch doctors”). The out-of-pocket is quite high, so I usually put 1/4 of the total on our joint card and pay the rest on my personal credit card. If he knew the real cost he'd lose his mind!"—C., together 10 years
I tell him I take cabs just to get him off my back
“I’m the cheapo of the relationship and refuse to take cabs when I’m by myself, even if it’s raining or I’m lugging a 50-pound suitcase. So once or twice, to avoid the nagging, I’ll say I’ve taken a cab from the airport when I’ve in fact been sitting on the subway for two hours.” —L., together 4 years
I led him to believe I was financially independent
“For the first several years we were together, I failed to tell my now-husband that my parents paid my cell phone bill, out of embarrassment.”—J., married 5 years
I never told him about those parking tickets...
“I owed hundreds (like maybe even over a thousand) in unpaid parking tickets when we first met. She only found out when my car was towed and I had to pay a fortune to get it back. On the plus side, now she handles any parking tickets!”—D., together 8 years