What Are People Secretly Buying That Causes the Most Problems in Relationships?

You bought what? And hid it where?

Wasteful spending and secret splurges can take a toll on a relationship.

Like it or not, your partner’s spending affects your own finances and your state of mind. 

A new study on money habits asked 1,000 couples what the biggest point of contention was for them, and most answered budgeting. In fact, it fell above household chores, children, and sex in terms of importance.

More than 22 percent of women admitted to hiding wasteful spending from their partner, but only 16.5 percent of men admitted to keeping the same secret.

Women thought their male partners blew too much cash on dining out (34 percent) and alcohol (30 percent). Men thought women were wasteful with cash in the areas of clothing, shoes, purses, cosmetics, soaps, or lotions, and home decor. Home decor ended up being the number one wasteful purchase according to men. For women, it was video games. 

Financial wrongdoing and dishonesty between couples is so common that it now has a common label — financial infidelity.

“For some, this grand fudging of numbers doesn't necessarily stop with an overpriced scarf or shiny new Xbox console. Undisclosed debts are often shrouded in fear or shame, but coming clean about poor credit scores, squirreled-away inheritances, and even gambling or shopping addictions can be an opportunity to improve communication,” says the study.

Overall, about 28 percent of those asked said they did discover some secret when it came to money.

“No matter which way you slice it, men and women spend and save differently. What looks like an essential purchase to one person could be a complete waste of money in someone else's eyes,” says the report. “This can often be a point of contention and misunderstanding for couples, especially those made up of different genders.”

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