Financial Infidelity: Secret Credit & Bank Accounts Rampant

Thirteen million Americans cheat on their spouses or live-in partners not physically, but financially. According to a new study from, one in 20 people have either a credit card or a bank account that their spouse doesn’t know anything about.

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Fights over secret money seem to pop up all the time among business and entertainment celebrities. Last week, for example, former Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO John Scully was sued by his ex-wife of 32 years who claims he was hiding $25 million in assets when they divorced. But what’s interesting about the survey, is that financial infidelity occurs at every income level. According to the survey, forty-one percent of people have spent over $100 without their spouse’s knowledge and 19 percent have spent more than $500.  Men are more likely than women to cheat, according to the survey, which showed men are almost twice as likely as women to have spent more than $500 without alerting a spouse or partner.

Financial Infidelity Fast Facts

1 in 20 Couples Have Secret Accounts

Men 2X More Likely to Cheat "Financially" With $500+ Spend

Middle Class Most Forgiving

The middle class is most forgiving. Of all the income groups, they were most approving of a spouse or partner spending money without notifying the other. Just 24 percent of respondents in the survey said it is okay for a spouse to secretly spend $500. Of course, it’s easier than ever to pull off keeping an account secret with banks pushing consumers to drop the paper statements and receive monthly statements to their email inbox. Two-income families are more likely to have separate accounts than families with a single income and that makes it less likely that information about spending is shared.