There's a 40 Percent Chance Your Family Is Keeping This Secret From You
Some people are too embarrassed about it, while others are trying to avoid attention.
You may have told the friends and family members who matter most to you that they can tell you anything, but there's one topic that people tend to keep close the vest, even with those they trust: money. A recent survey found that 40 percent of people are keeping financial secrets from their friends, family, and loved ones. But it turns out, while having a few secrets isn't necessarily a bad thing, keeping financial woes to oneself only makes the situation worse, for both their bank account and relationships. To see why people tend to keep finances a secret, read on, and to see what else people are hiding, check out 1 in 5 People Are Lying About Having Watched This, Research Shows.
The Nov. 5 report from The Money Advice Service surveyed 5,200 Brits and reached a few interesting findings: Millennials are the most secretive age group when it comes to money, with 59 percent saying they have a financial secret. Overall, 37 percent of those surveyed admitted to hiding credit cards and 24 percent keep their personal loans to themselves.
People keep financial secrets for a host of reasons, but experts point to a couple of common contenders, chiefly embarrassment. "No one likes to portray to the world that they are in financial trouble, since this gives off a sense of 'weakness' and 'financial irresponsibility,'" says Dino Selita, co-founder of The Debt Relief Company.
Similarly, personal development coach Ellen Tang finds that the fear of fessing up stems from a fear of being judged or criticized for their debt, loans, etc. But while it might be nerve-wracking to come forward with a financial situation, it's better in the long run. "Keeping the secret typically does much more harm than good," says Tang. "It's totally OK to open up to family members if you are struggling, and you really should not be ashamed of being in a particular financial situation. If you open up, you'll be surprised to find out that many have been there before and can relate to your burden."
On the other end of the spectrum, founder and CEO at LLC Formations Bradley Stevens points out that people may be averse to sharing financial information if they are well off, which the Money Advice Service report also found. Among those surveyed, 21 percent have a secret savings account. So, why don't people want to show off? Well, "cluing family members into your finances can attract unwanted attention" about your wealth, says Stevens.
There are various financial secrets people keep from their closest inner circle. Here are some other common financial topics people are super secretive about, and to learn more ways money can affect you, check out Women Focused on This One Thing Are 60 Percent More Likely to Get Divorced.
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How much they have saved
"The top financial secret people keep away from their family and friends is about the amount of their savings," says growth hacker and founder of DotcomDollar Allan Borch. Borch believes people tend to hide how hefty their savings is to protect it and avoid family or friends from asking for a loan or passing judgment. And for more useful information delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
On the other hand, people also often hide credit card debt, says Stevens. We've seen the classic scenario play out in many sitcoms. One partner has been hiding mountains of debt from the other and the secret is revealed when the pair tries to make a big purchase. And it's as common in real life as it is on TV, just not quite as funny. And to see what spending could do to your marriage, check out The More Money You Spend on This, the More Likely You Are to Divorce.
CEO and founder of Sure Dividend Ben Reynolds says some people are also lying about having to take out loans, refusing to divulge the information with their loved ones for similar reasons as debt. And if you're trying to watch your spending habits, check out This One Word May Make You Spend More Money.
Discussing salaries has become taboo, so people tend to be hesitant to broach the topic. Additionally, "most people don't like to share such information because of the fear of an inferiority complex being developed," says Stevens. "What if their friends or spouse is earning more than them? What if their friends are more financially stable at an early stage of their career?" And if you're looking to get smart with your funds, check out 14 Clever Ways to Earn More Cash Right Now.