Why couples shouldn't trust each other with money

Couples lie about money

When it comes to money matters, married couples have no faith in one another. They may have promised to love and honour their spouse, but they didn't say anything about trusting them with a credit card. A new study has revealed just how far apart married couples are when it comes to their finances.

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The survey, by Paymentsense, found that only a third of women trust their husband with their debit card PIN, while just 43% say they would hand over their credit card.

Unfortunately, this lack of trust seems to have come about as the result of bitter experience. Some 40% of women and 38% of men admit to lying to their spouse about what they spend their money on. Apparently 10% of women have lied about what they spend on food, and 16% say they lie and pretend they bought something in a sale in order to hide how much they spent. Meanwhile, 23% of men have lied about their alcohol bill.

There's every chance that these fall into the category of 'little white lies'. Where a couple has already set aside money to cover the basics, and have separate accounts to spend as they wish, then they are lying to protect the other person's good image of them rather than to disguise a major overspend.

More worrying

However, there's always the risk that these figures also contain a number of married couples who've either learned not to trust one another - or who are about to go through that horrible learning curve.

We all face ups and downs in life, but some people will try to hide it from their other half for one reason or another - while their situation deteriorates. Some will be out of work or on a reduced income for a period. Others will face unexpected expenses, or an issue with spending. When lying about money is in the DNA of a marriage, it's easy for these things to go undetected until it's too late.

Each couple will have to come to their own understanding about how much of their finances are shared, and how much is private. There will always be one spouse who is better with money than the other, and a small amount of flexibility built into their relationship to deal with it.

However, all couples need to understand the bottom line that if one spouse starts suffering from any kind of financial problem, they must tell their other half. If it gets any worse, it's going to become a problem for them both, so they deserve the opportunity to help stop it becoming any more of an issue than it has to.

Too trusting

Ironically, while older married couples have a problem with a lack of trust, and little white lies, younger people and newer couples have precisely the opposite problem.

Almost a third of people who have been in a relationship for less than a year admit their partner knows their PIN, and 45% trust their partner with their credit card.

The number of people who have been fleeced by partners is chronically under-reported, because people are too embarrassed to admit it to the authorities, but those that hit the headlines demonstrate just how much damage a dishonest partner can do.

Newer couples could learn something from the fact that just 46% of married people trust their spouse with their credit card. It demonstrates that when they get to know one another properly, even though they clearly love one another, more than half of people decide that their other half is not to be trusted financially.

It means that once you get to know your new partner properly, there's a more than 50% chance that you'll discover that letting them know your PIN was a bad idea.

But what do you think? Do you trust your other half with money? And would you give them your credit card? Let us know in the comments.

The most expensive weddings that ended in divorce
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The most expensive weddings that ended in divorce

The reality star and the basketball star are the most extreme example on our list. They married in style in August 2011 - with a perfume launch designed to coincide with the day. The total cost was said to be $10 million, with much of the cost covered by a magazine deal and individual arrangements with suppliers - including a $20,000 Vera Wang dress and a $6,000 cake. Their marriage lasted 72 days before she filed for divorce because of irreconcilable differences.
The Big Brother fake and the boy band member met on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006 and were married the same year. They had an extravagant ceremony for 45 people at Dartmouth House in Mayfair, with a dress designed by Elizabeth Emanual - who designed Princess Diana's dress. The ceremony was thought to have been paid for out of the £300,000 magazine deal for the photographs. They split after ten months of marriage.
The most expensive wedding on the list is the 1981 wedding of Charles and Diana with an estimated cost of £50 million in real terms, including a five foot high cake. They were divorced ten years later.
The couple were married in New York in 2002 at a cost of $3.5 million. The best man was Michael Jackson, and the maid of honour Elizabeth Taylor. Among the entertainment that evening was a performance by Stevie Wonder. Sadly the couple split the following year, and divorced five years later.
The couple married in 1991 at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, in a ceremony said to have cost $2 million. Michael Jackson even stood in as father of the bride. The couple split five years later.
The couple are said to have spent $2 million on their 2006 wedding in an Italian castle, featuring entertainment from Andrea Boccelli. They divorced after five years of marriage.
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills spent around $3 million on their wedding in June 2002 - renting Castle Leslie in Monaghan, Ireland, laying on a firework display thought to have cost £100,000 and a wedding dress said to have set them back more than £20,000. They divorced in 2007.

The couple were fairly restrained in terms of this list, spending $500,000 on their Manhattan wedding in 1993, featuring a Vera Wang dress with a 27-foot-train. However, they also succumbed to the five year rule, and divorced in 1998.
The darlings of Hollywood married in 2000 at a cost of $1 million. The LA ceremony was decorated with 50,000 flowers, and finished with a 13 minute fireworks display. They divorced five years later. 
The British director and the America superstar were married in Skibo Castle in the Scottish Highlands at an estimated cost of $1.5 million. Guests included Gwyneth Paltrow, Sting and Trudy Styler. Madonna wore a diamond tiara once owned by Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco. The couple survived the five year point that floored so many others, but divorced after eight years of marriage.

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