Buzz

Buzz: Money secrets and shacking up without marriage

April 27, 2012 at 10:17 AM ET

Fess up: Have you ever told your partner the purse you bought was on sale when really it wasn’t, or pretended you spent $200 on sports tickets that really cost $300?

This week, TODAY.com and Self revealed the results of an online survey about love and money – or, more specifically, when and why we keep money secrets from the people we love.

Our readers had a lot to say about the survey, which found that even though many people think honesty about money is as important as sexual fidelity, it’s not uncommon to fib at least a bit about our spending habits.

Many readers told us that to keep the peace and avoid having to lie about money, they simply keep separate accounts.

“Don't need to, we have our own discretionary accounts for 'fun' spending. He has no say over what I spend mine on, and vice versa,” one reader wrote.

Another reader said it wasn’t an issue for an entirely different reason:   “We've never had enough money for me to have something to lie about.”

Over on our Facebook page, many readers weighed in on how much they feel comfortable spending without consulting their spouse or partner.

One reader revealed her secret to financial success.

“My husband and I created the "$75 rule" when we got married almost 16 years ago,” she wrote.

Another related why hers didn’t work out.

“My ex bought a new van, without consulting me....the next day, I filed for a divorce !!” the Facebook user wrote.

Financial issues can break a marriage, and they can also keep people from getting married. Another popular post this week looked at the growing number of people over 50 who are choosing to move in together without getting married, often because it makes more sense financially.

The story prompted a lot of readers to share their grievances about bitter divorces that had taken a financial and emotional toll. But many readers also told us that they had found late-in-life happiness without official paperwork.

“Marriage makes sense if you plan to raise children. But, my sweetie and I are long past child bearing years. … I feel blessed that after suffering through many miserable grief filled years of a "conventional" marriage, I found my true life partner. We are now enjoying our second decade together. We love each other very much and we and are contented with our ‘unconventional’ marriage,” one reader wrote.

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