A new report has revealed the UK has 2.3 million secret savers, hiding a massive £2.1 billion from their partner.
According to the report by Lloyds TSB, individuals hide an average £823.48 from their partner, equivalent to 28% of their overall savings.
On average, secret savers keep up to 63% of their savings and investments in their sole name, with many believing their partner would spend it, should they have access to the cash. Younger people are more likely to hide their savings though, with 80% of young savers using separate savings accounts from their partner.
The research also showed a variety of reasons for keeping savings a secret:
- 18% of people believed their partner would spend the savings if they found out about them
- 14% were saving for a ‘rainy day’
- 12% believe money saved independently is none of their partners business,
- 8% saw the savings as their own money and independent from their partner
The report also found that 6% of people keep some of their income secret from their partner.
The research reveals couples in Northern Ireland are more secretive with their savings, than in any other region of the UK, with 19% hiding money from their partner. The West Midlands follow closely behind with 15%, whilst the North East and the South East are far less secretive, coming in with 4% and 9% respectively.
Andy Bickers, Director of Savings at Lloyds TSB, said: “With nearing two thirds of UK couples and four in five young couples now keeping their savings in sole accounts, we are starting to see a long-term shift towards people wanting to remain in financial control. Putting aside money remains a positive step for all and ISA accounts continue to be the best way to save tax free and get more for your money.” (Source: Lloyds TSB)
Joint savings accounts
The behaviour of couples who share information about their savings is also revealing.
47% of those who hold a joint savings account would expect to be notified when their partner spends money from the account, whilst only 11% would never expect to be told before their partner spends money from the joint savings.
Many couples set a spending limit, for jointly owned savings the average figure is £183, rising to £395 for savings held in one person’s name.
Couples who live in the North West hold more tightly to the purse strings, expecting to be told when their partner spends just £79. However, couples in the South East are more relaxed, as they only expect to be notified when their partner spends over £279.
High inflation hits savers
Irrespective of whether savings are declared or secret, held jointly or in one person’s name, it is harder than ever to get an inflation beating return.
Yesterday’s inflation figures showed a small increase in the rate of inflation, making it impossible for taxpayers to find a rate of return to beat inflation. Non-taxpayers would have to tie up their savings for five years to beat inflation, whilst Cash ISA investors only have one option.