Thousands of couples are keeping financial secrets about debts and savings from each other, according to a new survey.
One in 10 partners has a stash of cash unknown to their partner, while one in seven are hiding debts of an average £8,000.
And at least 10% of partners do not tell their other half how much they earn, says research by financial firm The Prudential.
The company has totted up the figures and reckons couples have money secrets worth millions of pounds that not only threaten their relationships but their financial futures.
Hidden savings, pensions and investments add up to an average £30,300, the research showed.
Hidden savings and earnings
Of those that failed to reveal their true earnings, 27% do so to keep their independence, 23%like to have some financial back-up in case their relationship ends, while one in 10 spend their secret cash on lavishing luxuries on their partners.
“Not being honest about your finances with a partner makes planning for a financial future difficult,” said a spokesman for The Prudential.
“Giving up work with debts that a partner is unaware of can mean diverting cash away from a comfortable retirement.
“Not only that, hidden cash may not be the best way to take advantage of tax reliefs or allowances that can shrink the money pile someone has carefully put aside.”
The main reason for debts, says the survey, is overspending on day to bills, taking too many holidays or a secret relationship.
Meanwhile, a separate report from the Co-Op Bank and think tank Refuge reveals 20% of adults are victims of financial abuse from family, friends or a partner, but most are unaware that they are victims.
“Typical scenarios are abusers piling up debts in the name of a victim or spending their earnings,” said a spokesman for the bank.”
The report Money Matters recommends changes in the financial industry to better protect the victims of economic abuse.
The research found that women and children were most often the victims of financial abuse and that many men followed the belief of what was theirs belonged to them and so did anything of financial worth which belonged to a partner or relative.