Do you have a secret bank account or credit card? Have you hidden purchases from your significant other? An article on CNBC this week says a recent survey by the website creditcard.com found just over one quarter of the approximately 1,000 people they surveyed had a secret bank account and/or credit card. The survey found that older Americans were more likely to have the secret bank accounts or credit cards and nearly 40% of baby boomers made secret purchases of $500.00 or more. A splurge purchase of $500.00 or more can devastate a budget in many households. Does your family have any kind of rule for when to consult one another on purchases? Setting a rule can be helpful and keeping the person who pays the bills each month informed will aid in eliminating surprises.
We do not recommend keeping secrets about larger purchases or even finances. Financial problems have been attributed to marital problems, depression and even physical sickness from worry and stress. What qualifies as a large purchase depends on your family’s budget. It could be a major car repair, a heat pump repair, or a dental bill. Amy Tanner from our Bond & Botes family recently wrote a blog post entitled “Are You Prepared for a “Rainy Day?”” found here. She discussed how important it is to have a financial cushion. It is more common than not that most people don’t have a financial cushion.
It is irrelevant why one may have a secret bank account or credit card if they are used for the wrong reasons. Secretive bank accounts, credit cards and purchases often do not cause problems until things go badly. Common reasons given for having these secretive accounts are to keep a business afloat or keep the car working. Whatever the reason for the secret, it is time to come clean. It is time to sweep the high interest rate loans and credit cards into the garbage and start with a clean slate. If you have debt you cannot pay and need a fresh start, come see us for a free, no obligation consultation.