I'm Cheating On My Husband With Money (And I Bet You Are, Too)

I never realized that I'm doing something wrong.

photo of woman opening wallet Africa Studio / Shutterstock

I've never been too forthcoming with my partners about how I spend my money.

Even though I'm married now, my thinking is still whatever I make is my money, and if I hold up my end of the financial bargain in this relationship, my partner doesn't need to know that the cashmere sweater I just purchased actually wasn't on sale for the bargain price of $75, but, in reality, way more.

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And while I know I'm not alone, as plenty of my friends have "secret" credit cards, it never occurred to me that I might be doing something wrong or committing financial infidelity, but apparently, I am.

I'm committing financial infidelity. And you probably are, too.

A 2015 study of 843 Americans by CreditCards.com found that 6 percent of Americans are keeping either a bank account or credit card hidden away from their live-in partner.

And the sneaky little devils have spent upwards of $500 (on more than one occasion) without their partner being the wiser. Men appear to be more guilty of this behavior than women, because women, as we know, are saints. Obviously.


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Comparatively, 26 percent of men and 14 percent of women are doing all this hiding.

It's suggested that the reason for this is that men are more likely to make "large impulse purchases," whereas women do not. (However, with one quick glance around my apartment, I can easily call foul on that suggestion, but will not.)

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Men are also more likely to be totally cool with their ladies spending secretively, at 31 percent, while only 18 percent of women support this whimsical behavior.

A new 2020 study conducted by CreditCards.com found that the numbers are much higher now.


In their latest poll, 44 percent of those who were surveyed are hiding their spending from their partner. They also found that millennials are more likely than those of Gen X or baby boomers to commit financial infidelity.

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But while spending money is good for the soul, especially when it means you can sit around in a Lanvin gown while watching an 85" TV, money continues to be the number one thing that couples fight about.

Since this is the case, as with any other type of infidelity, it will eventually catch up with you and be a total disaster.

According to CreditCards.com's senior analyst, Matt Schulz, it's all about communicating facts about your finances to your partner: "Any time you're talking about money in a relationship, it's all about communication."


He recommends sharing each other's banking passwords so there is complete transparency and openness in regard to finances. Other money experts suggest setting up alerts so each partner is aware of when any spending is going on and how much is being spent.

While your money is your money, or at least that's how I feel, if you can avoid a huge blowout every couple of weeks because one of you has a spending addiction you can't curb, then that's a good thing.

Arguing is a healthy part of a relationship, but tranquility thanks to honesty is even better. I guess this means you should text your partner your bank account password right now before you hit up that J.Crew sample sale later today.


RELATED: Keeping This Secret From Your Spouse Is Even Worse Than Cheating

Amanda Chatel is a regular contributor to Bustle and Glamour, with bylines at Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Livingly, Mic, The Bolde, Huffington Post, and others. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook for more.