Forget Switzerland. The new secret account is the one you hide from your spouse.
About 13 million Americans have squirreled away a checking, savings or credit-card account from live-in partners, according to a study released Wednesday by CreditCards.com. A slightly greater share of women (about 6 percent) than men (5 percent) said they’ve kept money out of sight, a difference within the margin of error. But another trend was more pronounced: Young people were more likely than their elders to keep secrets — or at least to admit it when a stranger calls to conduct a survey.
“It’s possible that millennials are just more comfortable with disclosing that sort of thing in that environment,” said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, an online credit-card marketplace affiliated with Bankrate Inc.
He said he was surprised by the number of Americans who hide accounts, especially because it “can cause some real damage in a relationship.” Not to mention their finances. “There’s no way to do a meaningful budget if you don’t know exactly what’s coming in and what’s going out,” Schulz said.
Obfuscation transcended at least one divide in this year’s contentious election season: Democrats and Republicans each showed the same degree of stealth — about 5 percent.
The survey was conducted for CreditCards.com from Jan. 7 to Jan. 10 via telephone by Princeton Survey Research Associates International and includes 1,003 people in the continental U.S.
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