Secret Savings and Investments: do you have them?

New figures have revealed something staggering: a fifth of ‘Gen Z’ couples are the most likely to have savings or investments that they haven't told their partner about.

The figures, as laid out in this piece on the This is Money site, highlight a disparity between those in the 18-24 age group and those who are 65 and over. Of the latter, only four per cent had savings squirreled away.

Speaking to This is Money, the shift, says financial planner Faye Church, is ‘down to the narrowing gender gap when it comes to our finances’. She says: ‘For the younger generation, both parties tend to have a focus on career and money, particularly before they get married, and their own goals and needs tend to take priority,.

In our latest article here on the Knowledge Hub of our site, we take a closer look at these figures, focusing on why those in the Gen Z demographic might opt to keep their finances secret from their other half.

Why might some people have a secret savings pot?

Many things could motivate someone to open a secret account; here are just some of them…

Fears of Splitting Up

The worry that a romantic relationship might end was the motivation for a third of men to hide their savings or investments, according to the This is Money article. Interestingly, this reason was the motivation for just eight per cent of women.

Some people might opt to have a secret savings pot for the opposite reason: for improved financial security, should they decide to leave a relationship.

In this piece for Glamour, Clare Seal says a secret savings stash – also known as a ‘f*** off fund’ – can ‘give you financial independence from your partner’.

“Because money is such a huge part of everyday life and involved in all of our transactions, it can be really easy to forget the different ways that it can serve us.” she says, adding: “The two most important things that money can provide, she says, are freedom and security…’

Safety Net Between Roles

Is your job affecting your mental health? If so, you might (like many others) feel motivated to set up an account in which to stash some spare funds. This might give you the impetus to leave an unhappy job and look for a new opportunity. While this won’t necessarily be a savings pot you feel the need to keep secret from, say, your partner, it might be an account you keep separate from a main savings account.

For many, financial security can be the difference between feeling stuck in a job that isn’t doing their wellbeing any favours, and moving to a position that better aligns with their values and goals.

At the Request of a Loved One

If a loved one left you some money in their will, would you let your partner know? In some cases, a family member might request that the person who is in receipt of the funds doesn’t tell their partner about it.

A sizable 15% of those featured in the This is Money piece said they had been in this left money by a loved one and didn’t want their partner to know about it, while a further 10% said their relative had specifically requested that they refrain from telling their other half.

How important is financial independence?

Of course, there may be many more reasons why people might choose to keep a savings pot quiet, but is it all good news – and just how important is financial independence?

In this piece on the iNews site, counsellor Peter Saddington had this to say about keeping accounts secret from your partner: “If it’s an intentional secret, then it’s probably saying that there’s something unhealthy in the relationship that you can’t be open and honest about finance. Quite often, finances are linked to other things. Money provides power and control. If you’re the one with more money, then you have more power in the relationship,” he says.

He adds that, on the other hand, if each person is aware of the other’s accounts, it’s a slightly different situation. “Your partner might not like it but if that’s what you want to do and there’s an acceptance, then it’s been negotiated and part of a discussion.”

This might be useful when planning for retirement, in particular. If, for example, each person knows the other’s situation – including how much they have saved – this allows couples to work out how much they still need to put aside.

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Until next time…

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