Nov. 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM ET
Lying about money can destroy a relationship.
"We know money causes more divorces than anything else," says TODAY financial editor Jean Chatzky. "And it's when the lies get really big that it leads people down that track, especially when they have to do with debt."
Earlier this year, TODAY.com and SELF.com asked readers how much money they’d spend using a joint bank account or credit card before asking their spouse or partner. Of the nearly 22,000 people who answered the question, about 36 percent said they would feel comfortable spending $50 to $99 before consulting their spouse or partner. Another 22 percent said the bar is between $100 and $499.
About 28 percent of readers said they check in with their spouse about every single purchase, no matter how small. Only about 6 percent said they never tell their spouse how much they spend on anything.
It all comes down to communication, relationship expert Laura Baron tells TODAY. "If you're not in a trusting relationship, this is what happens."
So how can you be more upfront about money issues with your partner?
"Give yourself a certain amount of money that you can spend every month without asking permission, and then you don't have to lie," says Chatzky. She likes the idea of separate bank accounts, plus one for the house.
"Couples are much better off if they can lay some ground rules to begin with," says Chatzky.
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