Many couples agree communication can be a big stumbling block in a relationship, and nowhere moreso than when it comes to money. Whether it's deciding to open an account, planning for the future or just coming up with grocery money, a new study shows couples tend to lie to each other about how their money moves around.
Results from a recent American Institute of Public Accountants survey found three in ten adults aren't being honest with their live-in partner or spouse about how much they make, spend or save. They also may not be telling the truth about how they're spending that money. What's more, the results show 15 percent have kept a windfall secret, created a secret bank account or taken money from a joint account without mentioning it to the other account holder.
"The important thing is that both people need to be involved in the finances at some level," said financial planner Jean Keener, in an interview with MSNBC regarding financial honesty.
Linda Homsey, a certified financial planner, had one good financial tip for couples: Accept who you are and who your partner is. If one of you is a saver and the other a spender, reconcile to that and try planning your finances based on personality types. Isolating wants versus needs can also help couples keep track of finances together and encourages communication, as Homsey wrote in the Ladies' Home Journal.
"We were told growing up, 'Don't talk about money, it's nobody's business,'" said Homesy in the Journal interview. "Perhaps the most common reason people have trouble communicating about money is that they have been taught that money and discussions about money are taboo."
According to the AIPA results, about one-fourth of couples fight over money, and Homsey says much of this could be due to long-standing ideas children get from their parents about money. Finding tools like online banking or mobile banking solutions may assist couples with reviewing their accounts together from home or on the go, allowing transparency and more open and honest communication about where money is coming from and where it's going on a regular basis.