‘I don’t find a need to share’ (Picture: Getty)
‘I have a savings account that my husband knows nothing about – it has around £7,000 in it,’ admits 32-year-old Rebecca, from Bedfordshire.
‘This sordid secret started around seven years ago, when we were buying our first flat together. We were discussing what money we had to bring to the table and I… just didn’t mention it.’
Rebecca isn’t alone either.
A survey by Aviva this year found that almost 40% of those in couples have money their partners don’t know about.
Rebecca continues: ‘It wasn’t really an active decision, impulsively I just decided to omit one of my accounts. Not a lie, but not quite the truth.
‘We weren’t married at the time and I had stashed away savings from working since the age of 16. Most of his deposit money came from family, and I was well-aware that if our relationship did crash and burn, he had parents who could easily bail him out. My family just aren’t in the same financial position.
‘Realistically, I know I should probably just “discover” this old account and come clean. I genuinely can’t imagine us ever breaking up. If we did get divorced, I’m sure a court would soon find it anyway. And yet, it’s still reassuring to know that it’s there.’
But this financial worry is an anxiety experienced by many, with Arriva’s research revealing one in five who have hidden money are using it as a precaution in case their relationship breaks down.
This was the case for Kerri, from Hampshire, who says she previously started an ‘exit fund’ for squirrelling away money, in order to leave her partner with her young child.
‘I never shared how much work I had on or how much money I had saved with my then partner. Me and my sister called it “Operation Squirrel”,’ the 39-year-old tells Metro.
‘I needed money to rent and furnish a new house and become financially independent as a single mum, so it was all very secretive. I set myself a goal and when I hit that, I ended the relationship and moved out.
‘I know multiple people that hide how much is in their savings accounts from their partners. In one sense I get it, but the other part of me feels we shouldn’t need to hide money from our partner if we’re “in” the relationship for the long-haul.’
But this isn’t something felt by 29-year-old Anastasia, who actively chooses to keep some finances secret from her husband.
‘It started as my “f*** off fund”’ (Picture: Getty Images)
The therapist, from London, says: ‘I will say there are definitely savings he is aware of, as they are for future financial decisions that will impact both of us. However, for surprises and personal goals, I keep this to myself.
‘I would say that overall, I have about £30,000 in a variety of accounts that he doesn’t know about.
‘There is no particular reason why I started doing this. He never asks, and I don’t find a need to share. But this goes both ways – I don’t know how much he has in his savings accounts either.’
However, the idea came about in the same way for Anastasia as it did for Kerri.
Anastasia explains: ‘It started as my “f*** off fund” when we started dating and I still treat it that way – despite us being married.
‘Life is unpredictable, I would rather be safe than sorry. And hey, if we end up being together forever, that will make a nice retirement top-up for the both of us.’
But Anastasia thinks it’s important to have financial secrecy in a relationship, too.
She adds: ‘It is important to have conversations about money, financial goals, debts and savings not only early on, but throughout the relationship. However, it doesn’t mean your partner has to know the exact numbers and how much you top it up monthly.
‘It allows for some independence, and security, but also surprise in the relationship. Imagine if you are saving for a big gift (for him or yourself) and he can see you topping that savings account up.’
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‘Life is unpredictable, I would rather be safe than sorry.’