Managing money can be difficult in any relationship, but it becomes even more difficult when one spouse or partner is lying about their finances. Self Financial recently surveyed 2,600 U.S. residents to learn more about how honest Americans are when it comes to money. They found that only 12% of surveyed respondents rate themselves as “excellent and handling their finances.
On a positive note, the study found that Americans are most open and honest with their significant others when it comes to money. Over 45% of people surveyed say that they tell their partner everything about the money situation and another 30% say their partner knows quite a lot about their money and finances. American’s tend to be more guarded and reserved when discussing money with family members, colleagues, and friends.
Overall, the survey from Self-Financial found that 75% of Americans admit to telling some form of lie about money at least some of the time. Let us examine the top 10 lies Americans tell about money in 2021.
Top 10 money lies
- Downplaying how much something costs to friends, family, or a partner (46.6% admit to this lie)
- Hiding a purchase from a partner or a family member (40.1% admit to this lie)
- Misrepresenting or concealing income on a health insurance application (27.4% admit to this lie)
- Hiding a bank account or credit card from a partner (24.2% admit to this lie)
- Misrepresenting or concealing income on a financial aid application (22.1% admit to this lie)
- Exaggerating how much something costs to friends, family, or a partner (22.1% admit to this lie)
- Lying in a job interview when asked about previous salary (21.5% admit to this lie)
- Lying to a partner about how much debt you have (15.0% admit to this lie)
- Lying on a text return (13.4% admit to this lie)
- Concealing a windfall from a partner (11.0% admit to this lie)
Now let us take a closer look at each individual lie, and the reasons people tell them.
Lie #1: Downplaying how much something costs
The survey found that 46.6% of Americans routinely tell friends, family, or partners that things cost less than they actually did. Women (48.3%) are more likely than men (45%) to downplay their spending habits. Younger generations are much more likely than older generations to minimize what things costs with Gen Z being the most likely generation to lie about this. People who are dating and living separately are also much more likely than people who are married to lie about the money that they spent.
Lie #2: Hiding a purchase from a partner or a family member
The survey found that 40.1% of Americans have hidden a purchase, hoping their partner or family member would not notice. Women (42.3%) are more likely than men (38.1%) to hide purchases from a partner or a family member. Parents of young children (infant and preschool) are most likely to hide purchases. People without children do it far less often. The lower your income, the more likely you are to hide purchases. 42% of people with household incomes of less than $30,000 a year admit to doing it. 32.9% of people with household incomes over $100,000 a year hide purchases. People who did not go to college are more likely than people with college degrees to hide purchases.
Lie #3: Misrepresenting or concealing income on a health insurance application
The survey found that 27.4% of Americans have been less than truthful about their income on a health insurance application. Men are more likely than women to misrepresent their income on health insurance applications. Parents of school-age children are almost 6 times more likely to lie on health insurance applications than people without kids. People with college degrees are almost three times more likely to lie on health insurance forms than those with only a high school education.
Lie #4: Hiding a bank account or credit card from a partner
24.2% of Americans have hidden a bank account or credit card from a partner. Men are women are almost equally likely to have secret hidden accounts. Millennials are the generation most likely to hide accounts from their partners with Gen Z being the least likely. Married people are also much more likely to keep secret accounts from their partners than those who are just dating.
Lie #5: Misrepresenting or concealing income on a financial aid application
23.4% of Americans who have filled out financial aid applications admit that they were not entirely truthful when describing their finances. The survey found that Men are more likely than women to lie on financial aid applications. People with household incomes of $50-75K are most likely (at 30.5%) to lie on financial aid forms. Only 15.8% of people earning $30K or less and 14.5% of those earning $100K or more do the same.
Lie #6: Exaggerating how much something costs to a friend, family, or a partner
22.1% of Americans often lead their friends, family, or partner to believe they spent more than they actually did on an item. Men are more likely than women to exaggerate their spending. Members of younger generations like Gen Z are much more likely than older generations to exaggerate what things costs. People in a dating relationship are much more likely than single people to upsell their spending.
Lie #7: Lying in a job interview when about a previous salary
21.5% of Americans admit to lying to job interviewers when asked about their previous salaries. Men and women are almost equally likely to lie about their previous salaries. There was no statistically significant difference by age when it comes to lying about the previous salary. People with higher household incomes are most likely to lie about their salaries. Only 20% of people earning $30K or less admit to fudging their previous salary numbers.
Lie #8: Lying to a partner about how much debt you have
15% of Americans have misled their partners about their debt. Men are more likely than women to lie to their partners about debt. Gen Xers are the most likely generation to lie to a partner about the size of their debt.
Lie #9: Lying on a tax return
13.4% of Americans have misrepresented their income or expenses on their tax returns. Men are more likely than women to lie about their tax returns. Of all generations, Baby Boomers are the generation most likely to lie on their tax returns. Parents are almost five times more likely to deceive the IRS than people without kids.
Lie #10: Concealing a windfall from a partner
11% of Americas admit that they have concealed a windfall from their partner when they received an unexpected sum of money. Men and women are equally likely to hide a surprise windfall from their partners. People in Gen X and Baby Boomer generations are more likely than millennials or Gen Z to hide their good fortune.
Our survey was conducted online. It encompassed 2,603 U.S. residents, with at least 100 residents in each of 25 major cities across the United States. Participants were 55.1% men and 44.4% women (.5% identified as non-binary). Their ages ranged from 18 to 83, with a median age of 31. In terms of education, 77.8% were college graduates. The sample included 264 Baby Boomers, 690 Generation Xers, 1,444 millennials, and 194 members of Generation Z. (There were 11 members of the Greatest Generation — age 75+ —but the sample was too small to include in the generation-based analysis.)
**** This study was provided by https://www.self.inc/