Do you have a dirty financial secret?
Naughty Brits are financially cheating on their partners by not being honest about their spending habits.
One in seven of us (14%) admit to keeping financial secrets from our loved ones, according to new research from Confused.com.
And many of us guard our secret spending so closely that 31% of people would rather be honest about how old they are and one in five would prefer to reveal how many people they have slept with before telling their partner how much they actually spend.
Some 5% of people hide their credit card bills from their partner too, with 8% even admitting to hiding items they have purchased on plastic. On average, Brits have £712 on their credit card that they keep secret from their partner, with 60% of us in some amount of credit card debt.
Nearly half (49%) said they had borrowed money to go clothes shopping, while 43% had incurred debt to go on holiday. Worryingly, 41% ran up debts just to cover living costs and food expenses, while 14% admitted that they have debts their partner doesn’t know about too, putting extra pressure on their relationships.
When asked why they downplayed the true extent of their spending, 30% said they wanted to avoid an argument with their partner, while 17% said they were ashamed and a similar number (15%) said they felt guilty about it.
Review your budget
Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at Confused.com, said: "Brits shouldn't be ashamed about spending their own money on the things they want, or using a credit card to do so. However, people should be conscious of spending more than they can afford as this could lead to their financial situation quickly growing out of control.
"Consumers should consistently review their budgets and make a plan to reduce their debts and manage their finances. For those with outstanding credit card balances, comparing balance transfer credit cards and moving their balance could be a better option for them."
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.
Moving money from one account to another, whether switching bank accounts or more likely transferring the outstanding balance on your credit card to another card that charges a lower – or 0% – rate of interest. Some card providers may charge a transfer fee that can be a percentage of the balance transferred.