Are you keeping “money secrets”?

Almost four in 10 Brits are keeping “money secrets” from their loved ones, including hiding problems with debt, new research has revealed.

According to a survey by the Money & Pensions Service (MaPS), the most common areas being kept to oneself are hidden credit cards (37%), undisclosed loans (23%) and secret savings accounts (21%). 

Covering 5,200 people nationwide, the poll suggests there is still a stigma around talking about personal finances and problems related to them. 

Almost 40% of those quizzed said they kept concerns to themselves, often due to feeling embarrassed or a fear of being judged.  

People in relationships also tended to underestimate the extent of money secrets their partner kept from them and while 23% of people in relationships suspected their partner hid things, nearly half admitted to having done the same.

Millennials aged between 25-34 were the most secretive generation, with three in five hiding details of their finances. 

The survey marks Talk Money Week, which aims to encourage people who are struggling financially in the pandemic to talk their situation over with a family member, friend or expert. 

As the old saying goes, a problem is a solution in disguise and MaPS says sharing concerns and fears could help make money problems more manageable, benefiting the health, personal relationships and overall wellbeing of those affected.

Research shows that people who talk about money:

  • Make better and less risky financial decisions
  • Have stronger personal relationships
  • Help their children form good money habits for life
  • Feel more in control and less stressed or anxious.

Building money conversations into our everyday lives also helps us build financial confidence and resilience to face whatever the future throws at us.

The Talk Money Week section of the MaPS section website has online guides on talking about money to partners, children, parents and grandchildren and friends along with links to organisations who can offer support.