More than one-in-ten people in relationships have a ‘runaway fund’ bank account their partner does not know about.
A new study from Aviva has found that 14% of men and 135 of women have a secret bank account that their partner is unaware of.
Four-in-ten said the main reason they have secret savings is to give them a greater sense of security, while 29% said they like the idea of having something that is completely their own.
Some 28% of participants said it was because their partner is not good with money.
Reporting for Lunchtime Live this afternoon, Newstalk’s Ella Corcoran asked people in Dublin how open they are with their partner when it comes to finances.
"We have separate jobs, and I suppose we had our own bank accounts coming into the relationship," said one woman.
"We do have a joint account as well, so, we kind of mix and match."
Another woman said she and her husband have had a shared account since 1959.
"I'd have my account for my own personal spending," said one man. "With my partner – if we have a house or are renting somewhere – I think it would make more sense just to have a joint account.
"Everything is a bit more transparent then as well."
Life coach Mark Fennell told the show that, in his 15 years of experience in working with people in relationships, he has found that it is beneficial to have "money on the side".
"However, it depends on the stage of the relationship," he said.
"When finances are combined and both parties know all about it, there's a lower chance of divorce with couples who pooled their finances.
"I don't have the problem with having money on the side, I have more of an issue with why?
"Is it a trusting thing? Is it that, 'I'm all in with this person, but it's just the Plan B in case it goes belly up'?
"That's okay in the early days of a relationship, but it does raise questions around trust and honesty later on, when you're choosing to keep it a secret."
Mr Fennell said only 33% of marriages last as far as 20 years.
"There's a massive increase in separations and divorces and all that and so, over the last 50 years, there has also been a massive increase in secret accounts," he said.
"It's interesting to see the correlation that divorce has gone up and secret money has also gone up."
Mr Fennell said societal progress has meant that both parents now have the option to pursue careers, which has altered the archetype of the "breadwinner" in the home.
"That's given rise to, 'Well, look, I've worked bloody hard for this money and I'm not about to kind of give them the keys to the vault,'" he said.
"Is it a bit of a red flag to the relationship if you're married to someone and still don't trust them with all access?
"There might be a better way of looking at keeping your own independence. Why do we attach it to money?"
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