As many as one in five couples lie to each other about how much money they have, a new study suggests.
In a survey of 1,851 people, 13 per cent of people over 40 admitted secret savings or investments. The average amount of hidden money among these couples was £20,800.
Twenty two per cent of men were found to have a secret savings account, compared to only 16 per cent of women. However, the results showed that nearly a quarter of women who have one admitted it was to safeguard against a potential breakup. Only 11 per cent of men cited a similar motivation.
The study found that savings were not the only financial matter couples are dishonest about.
Around 13 per cent admitted to hiding an average debt of £7,800 from their partners. According to the survey, women are more likely to keep information about the amount of money they borrow a secret.
Additionally, one in seven couples were dishonest with each other about their salaries, the survey claimed. Of those people, 28 per cent said the reason for their deception was to maintain their independence.
The survey was conducted by insurance company Prudential.
Vince Smith-Hughes, a retirement income expert at the firm, said couples should be “very wary” of hiding finances from their partners. He added that while some of their reasons for dishonesty may seem “perfectly valid”, it was vital that couples have a “full understanding” of their circumstances.