Do you know your partner’s credit score? Our research shows that 18% of people have money or finances their partner doesn’t know about
Our research shows that 18% of people have money or finances their partner doesn’t know about.
I know two couples who are total opposites when it comes to how they manage their joint finances.
One couple – first names James and Jenny, surnames omitted to protect the innocent – pools their finances in full and takes a generous approach, with one exception: they each have a ‘fun account’, into which an equal sum of money is fed each month, and the rule is they can’t complain about what their partner spends his or her fun money on. James fritters his away on coffees and work lunches, while Jenny (a keen diver) saved until she had a good chunk of money and then … bought a boat.
The other couple – Tony and Amy – splits every tiny expense down to the last detail. It’s not unusual to go out to dinner with them and see them conducting an intricate analysis of the bill to see if one person has – OH NO – paid less than the other. There’s a constant dance between them of money going back and forth depending on who owes whom what.
Last month we did some research on more than 1,000 Kiwis to see how we manage our romantic finances. Turns out half of us pool our money completely with our partner, while nearly 23 per cent split expenses 50/50.
And we were astounded to find out that 18 per cent of people have money or finances their partner isn’t aware of – and nearly 64 per cent of those people are women. (Interestingly, the tendency for women to have hidden money – presumably emergency funds – lessens as they age.)
And it isn’t debt. Nearly 72 per cent of people hiding finances are in charge of private bank accounts or cash reserves, while 18 per cent had secret debt.
It’s not uncommon for people to get burnt financially by a partner (28 per cent have been). This includes your partner racking up secret credit card debt the other partner was jointly responsible for; forging signatures for loans and HP; stealing from the other person; or financially abusive behaviour such as not paying child support.
So if you’re entering a new relationship or feeling suspicious about your partner’s money management, it’s smart to make sure you don’t end up with STDs (that’s Sexually Transmitted Debts). You can read more about that here. It starts with having honest conversations about money and your financial expectations. And it’s also key to share information with each other – our research shows almost 33 per cent of people would be interested in knowing the credit score of a potential partner. (Don’t worry if yours is bad – only 5 per cent would actually cancel a date if the person’s credit score was in the dirt.)
Finally, who’s better at money management – men or women? It seems there’s a consensus on this: nearly half of women say they’re better at managing money than their partner, but only 40 per cent of men say it’s their strength.
Credit Simple gives all Kiwis free access to their credit score, as well as their detailed credit report. See how your credit score compares by age, gender and community and gain valuable insights into what it all means.All stories by: Credit Simple