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Many Americans committing financial infidelity

Posted: 3:45 PM, Mar 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-29 02:33:23-04
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LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There's a surprising amount of Americans, cheating on their significant others. But it's not what you think. We're talking about financial infidelity. 13 Action News looks at how secrets about money are hurting millions of relationships.

"We're both on the same page," says Karen.

She and her husband Richard agree.

"Definitely on the same page. Put all the money in the middle," says Richard. "Share and share alike," says Karen.

This couple says you've got to be able to trust your spouse when it comes to money.

"Very important to be honest. That's what got us 49 years together," says Karen.

Other couples we spoke with feel the same.

"Be honest," says Jason. "Be honest. I share everything. We share bank accounts," says Jason's wife, Natalie.

But not everyone is sharing. According to the latest poll from creditcards.com : 19 percent of U.S. adults in a live-in relationship are hiding money from their partners. That's one in five. A whopping 29 million Americans.

Millennials are the biggest offenders. 28 percent of adults 18- to 37-years-old are hiding a checking, savings or credit card account.

Industry Analyst Ted Rossman says it may be because millennials are more likely to have grown up with divorced parents.

"Millennials are remembering what happened when mom and dad split up and as a result they're keeping this secret stash of money set aside from their partner, just in case the relationship doesn't work out," says Ted.

That's a serious problem considering 35 percent of those polled say financial infidelity is just as bad as physically cheating. A physical relationship could be a one-time thing. But a secret stash of money represents an ongoing series of lies and hiding.

"When there's a breach of trust, it's really hard to get that back," says Ted.

In the end, a separate account could be put to better use.

"Money that you could use to pay down your credit card debt, save for retirement, save for your kids college education," says Ted.

Ted suggests couples sit down at least once a month to discuss expenses and long-term financial goals. And if a couple decides to keep their finances separate, that's okay.

"I think this concept of yours, mine, and ours totally works for a lot of families. The key is that you have to agree on it up-front," says Ted.