How Well Do You Know Your Partners Spending Habits?

Written by on June 3, 2013 in Relationships - No comments | Print this page

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woman-in-shopping-mallWhen it comes to shopping , not all of us are entirely honest with our partners about how much we actually spend on clothes.

Women are more likely to lie about their spending habits than men but men still feel guilty about the gadgets they buy.

Recently the Daily Mail recently featured an interesting survey carried out by Nutmeg.com on spending habits of spouses and more particularly, what they tell each other about their spending habits. Here is what they found out…

The report suggests that 4 in 10 women cover up their spending from their partners.

Whilst statistically, men are less likely to lie about what they’ve spent, apparently when they do, they knock more off the amount they have spent, and it will most usually be in relation to gadgets, whereas a woman’s weakness is more usually clothes and shoes.

The report also found that parents hide how much they have been spending on their children with 29% of women and 6% of men lying.

The credit crunch has also been blamed for the increase in Britons hiding or lying about their spending habits from their partners. One in five has admitted that this has caused problems in their relationships.

The reports confirms that either a bad spending habit itself, or a lack of transparency about it can be the cause of relationship breakdown and divorce, and certainly this is something we see a lot when dealing with divorce and financial settlement cases.


The report confirms that a large number of the people interviewed for the survey admitted to destroying receipts or bank statements in an effort to keep their spouse in the dark about how much cash they’d splashed.

Our own experience suggests that it is often the deceit which ends up being the final straw that sees a relationship end, rather than the original spending itself.

During financial negotiations, both parties have to set out their future income needs, which includes a breakdown of the projected expenditure.  It is not uncommon for this to lead to debates as to what is and is not reasonable.

In a ‘big money’ case, generous budgets will usually awarded to allow a previous lifestyle to be largely maintained, however when money is tight, previous budgets can be brutally slashed by the court.

In addition, usually, both parties will be expected to disclose copies of all their bank statements for the last year, and where spending has been hidden, it all comes out.

Shopaholics can however be assured that past financial frivolity on wardrobe updates are rarely taken into account by the court when looking at how the assets should be divided, unless it has been at a level which really cannot be ignored in the financial circumstances of the case.

The report has sparked enthusiastic debate about what is and is not acceptable, and when a white lie becomes a more serious problem, with people comparing notes about their spending honesty.  In the spirit of honesty, if my husband is reading this, the top I bought yesterday may not have been £10…..

How honest are you with your partner about how much you spend?

Cara Nuttall
Senior Associate, Family law at Slator Gordon

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