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Home » Blog » Secret Savings Accounts and Relationships

Secret Savings Accounts and Relationships

My personal view on money

Throughout my life, I’ve been fascinated by the relationships people have with money. As a generation who grew up with no money education at school, the way you value money largely comes down to your family values and what you were taught by your parents.

I see money as a currency we need to survive, but I would ultimately rank it about 5 down a list of my most valued priorities. However, because of this, I’ve had to do some work on myself and my relationship with money. Especially since struggling financially, for the last 4-5 years.

Secret Savings Accounts and Relationships

Independence whilst in a relationship

In addition to this, I’ve always been fiercely independent. My partner was aware of this when we got together and I’ve always had a separate bank account – I always will. My view is that independence in a relationship is healthy. I don’t desire to give all of myself to another person and I don’t think you need to – to love someone. We manage money as a household, but also still have separate money pots.

Secret savings

I wanted to share with you some research, undertaken by Smart Money People which shows one in ten people in a serious relationship have a secret savings account. Over one-fifth of these are saving an emergency ‘breakup fund’- in the event they need to leave the relationship. This was most prevalent in women in their 30s. 

Differing outlooks on saving

The vast majority of people (95%) who are living with their partner (married, civil partnership or cohabiting) believe that it’s important for couples to have a similar outlook on saving money. One in ten (10%) have a secret savings account.

Savings habits have caused a breakup for one in five

Financial matters can be a difficult subject in a relationship. Nearly one-fifth (18%) of adults say that a lack of financial compatibility has contributed to a breakup. (28%) say opinions on savings habits or when it’s okay to use savings, caused friction. (52%) said a difference in savings-related opinions might prevent them from pursuing a relationship.

Reasons for Secret Saving

The most common reasons for a secret savings account were already having the account before the relationship began (38%) and maintaining financial independence (37%). However, (22%) of people with a secret savings account are using it as an emergency breakup fund – in the event they need to leave the relationship. (51%) of people with a breakup fund also have a joint savings account with someone other than their partner.

Tips for combating differing opinions on saving

Jacqueline Dewey, CEO of Smart Money People said: “Agreeing on how you save is important for couples who share joint financial goals, such as saving for a mortgage or putting away funds for a family holiday. However, agreeing on the best savings products is just as important.

“Couples can navigate the financial world together by shopping around for the most suitable products and methods of saving to suit their personal and collective financial goals. Always check customer reviews for a prospective product, as encountering problems with a savings account down the line could place unnecessary strain on the relationship.”

Jacqueline Dewey, CEO of Smart Money People

Differences in savings habits

Half (50%) of people in a relationship don’t save the same amount of money as their partner, with the most common reason being due to not earning equal amounts (65%).

Earnings aren’t the only big factor at play when it comes to saving equal amounts. One-third (33%) of people in a relationship say they don’t save the same amounts as their partner due to having different spending habits. Forty per cent of these people have a secret savings account.

Those who save together stay together

The research found that most people (82%) who are living with their partner believe they are financially compatible with their partner. It also found that couples with a joint savings account feel more financially compatible (90%) than couples without.

Want to read more about money-saving offers – check out this page

Being able to have a frank and open money discussion is vital for a healthy relationship, but I also know many people believe money is a personal subject and that couples have a right to privacy and independence even if they are living together and co-parenting.
“If you have a genuine curiosity and you care enough about someone to respect their values and opinions, maybe you can accept differences and even capitalise on the fact that one of you may be better at building reserves and the other a gifted shopper – one can deal with getting the best interest rates and the other keeping the shopping bill in check. Divide and conquer.”

Samantha Secomb FPFS, Founder of financial advice and coaching service Women’s Wealth

“Many people may already have methods of saving that work well for them prior to a new relationship, so although long-term partnerships bring about new joint financial goals, this shouldn’t negate any personal goals for each individual. 
“Having different outlooks and opinions on savings isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, but finding the most suitable ways to manage this is important.”

Jacqueline Dewey, CEO of Smart Money People

Until Next time

Notes about the research

  1. The research was undertaken by Opinium on behalf of Smart Money People from 12 to 16 January 2024 amongst 2,000 UK adults (aged 18+).

For further information contact: Kerry Sheahan at Browser Media at 0207 099 0945

About Smart Money People

Since its launch in 2014, Smart Money People has received over 1.5m reviews on the products and services of insurers, banks, building societies, and credit providers. These insights, comments, and experiences not only inform more people to make better decisions but also help financial services companies create better outcomes for their customers. 

About Women’s Wealth

Women’s Wealth is an innovative unbiased financial advice and coaching service that specialises in empowering women to create fabulous financial futures for themselves.

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