Top five financial fibs

1. Secret squirrels

According to website Moneysupermarket, one in 10 people in relationships prefer to keep mum on the state of their finances, while as many as one-fifth have even kept money hidden from a partner, either in a secret account or at home.

2. This old thing?

Probably the most common money whopper is pretending you've owned that newly acquired cashmere sweater or pair of designer shoes forever, or that it was "a bargain in the sales", while never revealing the actual price paid.

An American Express survey suggests nearly one in three fib this way, usually to avoid a row.


3. Hidden windfalls

A recent US survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants revealed that 7% of people living with a partner have kept a work bonus or lottery win secret from their other halves, while 4% had surreptitiously withdrawn a significant amount from their joint account.

4. Covering up carelessness

Guilt over wasted spending such as on parking fines or late-payment penalties leads to furtive behaviour, with individuals often failing to own up to their partner.

5. What's mine is yours

All very well, but couples do need to keep a handle on their partner's money antics. The hit TV drama Downton Abbey opened the latest series with the repercussions of a serious money fib: that Lord Grantham had lost all his wife's money in railway shares when she didn't even know he had invested in them.

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