Why We Lie About Money

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” – Sir Walter Scott

By Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA
Thursday, 28 February 2019

Why We Lie About Money

Money can be both a loaded and uncomfortable topic. We are so conditioned to be private with our paychecks and piggy banks that we may not even disclose all of the details to our spouse or partner. In fact, 2 out of 5 people reported lying to their partner about money or committing what is called financial infidelity.[i] Of course, not all financial infidelity is the same, and buying something and hiding the receipt is much different than having a secret credit card, or a secret bank account. Regardless, before we go any further, it’s important to remember that whether the secret is little or big, there is still a choice being made to actively withhold financial information.

Fact: 15 million Americans admit to having a secret credit card or bank account.[ii]

Being completely open can be scary and leave you vulnerable to judgment or reprimand but being deceptive to avoid discomfort may destroy your relationship. Financial infidelity often starts small and grows. The dishonesty may be rooted in shame, or pride, or even power. Whatever it is, finding the source of why financial infidelity happened, or why a person lied, will be vitally important if a relationship wants to survive.

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