In Brief

Brits keeping 21 million ‘money secrets’ from friends and family, survey reveals

Four in ten people admit staying quiet or telling fibs about debts or savings

People across the UK are hiding a total of 21 million “money secrets” about hidden debts, loans or savings, new research has found.

The survey of more than 5,200 adults reveals that four in ten are concealing the true state of their finances from their nearest and dearest. The most common secrets were hidden credit cards (37%), undisclosed personal loans (23%) and secret savings accounts (21%).  

“Partners are the most likely to be left in the dark,” The Times reports. “While 23% of people in relationships suspect that their spouse has kept a money secret, nearly half of those in relationships, or 45%, admitted having an undisclosed money product.”

People aged 25 to 34 are the most secretive bunch, with nearly three in five hiding money products, “particularly credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts”, the newspaper adds.

By contrast, pensioners are the most open age group, with just 26% keeping secrets, according to the research, from the government-backed Money and Pensions Service (MaPS).

Some of the reasons given for staying quiet included feeling embarrassed or fearful of being judged.

But there are “numerous” other explanations for why people keep money secrets, says MaPS insights director Sarah Porretta. A hidden savings account may act “as a buffer for those who want to escape a difficult relationship”, she explains.

Other reasons include “an unpaid bill being kept under wraps in order to protect anxious family members”, as well as wanting to avoid “feeling of shame or embarrassment that debts have spiralled out of control”.

The survey was conducted to mark “Talk Money Week”, which is aimed at “encouraging people who are struggling financially in the pandemic to talk it over with a friend, family member or expert”, the BBC reports. 

More information about Talk Money Week can be found here.

Recommended

How the 2011 London riots unfolded
London riots
Why we’re talking about . . .

How the 2011 London riots unfolded

Why codeine deaths have reached a record high
Codeine
Getting to grips with . . .

Why codeine deaths have reached a record high

‘Third wave in retreat’
Today's newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Third wave in retreat’

Will the UK avoid a second year of A-level results chaos?
Exam results
Getting to grips with . . .

Will the UK avoid a second year of A-level results chaos?

Popular articles

Why your AstraZeneca vaccine may mean no European holidays
Boris Johnson receives his second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine
Getting to grips with . . .

Why your AstraZeneca vaccine may mean no European holidays

‘Wobbling’ Moon will cause worldwide flooding, Nasa warns
Flooding in Florida after Hurricane Irma hit in 2017
Why we’re talking about . . .

‘Wobbling’ Moon will cause worldwide flooding, Nasa warns

Does the Tokyo Olympics branding amount to cultural appropriation?
BBC Tokyo Olympics trailer
Expert’s view

Does the Tokyo Olympics branding amount to cultural appropriation?

The Week Footer Banner