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Are your loved ones keeping money secrets from you?

It looks like us Brits are a secretive bunch! This is especially the case when it comes to our money. We really don’t like sharing the state with our finances with anyone - not even those closest to us. 

There are lots of money secrets you might be keeping. Not told your family you’ve taken out a loan? Got a savings stash nobody knows about? Maxed out credit cards keeping you up at night? 

Or maybe those you love are keeping something from you? Think your partner tells you everything? Spoiler alert, our new research for Talk Money Week says that we’re probably too trusting.

What kind of money secrets are we keeping?

We did some research and found out that 40% of Brits are keeping financial products a secret. Of those, the top three are:

  • Over one in three of us are hiding credit cards (37%)
  • Nearly one in four of us haven't mentioned we have a personal loan (23%)
  • One in five has a secret savings account (21%)

The big secrets are hidden debt, which can weigh heavy on the mind, especially during a pandemic. 

We know that talking about your money problems and getting debt help WILL make you feel better if you’re feeling stressed out about it. 

It’s a big shame however, that a whopping 38% of people in the UK stay silent about their money worries. They’re embarrassed about the situation or worried they will be judged. 

Who is most likely to keep a money secret?

We asked 5,200 of the British public about this for Talk Money Week (9 - 13 November) and found out that millennials are the most secretive generation, with a whopping more than half of them (59%) saying they have a secret financial product. 

Ok, so Millenials are eating avocado toast and hiding credit cards - fine. But surely your partner wouldn’t keep a big secret like debt from you? You can trust your other half?

Well… the study showed that people in relationships tend to underestimate the extent of the money secrets their partner keeps from them, while 23% believed their partner was hiding something. Ouch! 

Hidden financial products were found to be even more common, with a massive 45% of people admitting to hiding their borrowing or savings accounts from their other half. 

Are money secrets an issue?

You know the old proverb “A man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep.”

Hiding debt is a miserable thing. It not only impacts your wallet and your own mental health - but it will impact your partner and family. The longer you hide it, the worse it’s going to get. 

We’ve heard time and time again that once you spill your debt secret with your partner and get help - life starts getting better. You start feeling better. 

We know it’s not always that easy (or safe!) to do. Check out our Talking to your partner about money guide for practical tips as well as how How to have a conversation about money which will prepare you for a tough chat. 

When should you have a conversation about money?

Well, funny you ask - now!

It’s officially Talk Money Week - so now is a great time to start talking to those close to you (or even shout about it on Twitter and Facebook) about all things money. 

If you’re not quite ready to share your hidden debts, take this week as an opportunity to start preparing for a safe and effective conversation.

And if you’re someone that feels that they can’t talk, because your money is being controlled by someone else. Read our Protecting against financial abuse guide and try and get the help you need.

However, the best thing you can do is start talking about money regularly. The more you do it, and the more you incorporate it into everyday life, the less of a sticky issue it becomes. Here’s a great place to start.

Come speak to us! Remember, we’re always here if you want to speak to an impartial expert for free guidance about your money and pensions. Here are our details. 

www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk  - 0800 138 7777    

www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk  -  0800 011 3797    

www.pensionwise.gov.uk/en  - 0800 138 3944   

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