Finances and money can often lead to dishonesty and uncomfortable situations for many Americans. Whether it is how much we earn, how much we spend, how much we save our how much debt we have, many Americans find themselves often telling lies about their finances and money.
To try and learn more about America’s current situation with their finances, Self Financial surveyed 2,600 American residents from cities across the country. The impetus of the survey was to learn the most common money related lies that Americans tell themselves and their loved ones. They wanted to see if there were regional trends to the types of lies that people tell about their money. Let us take a deeper dive into the results of the survey.
How good are Americans at handling their finances?
Self Financial asked American’s about how good they thought they were handing money and their finances. The results were not promising. Only 12% of Americans said they felt that they were excellent at handling their finances. 7% rated themselves as poor. The other 80% of Americans had mixed reactions, although most reported that they thought they were at least good at handing their finances. This shows that many Americans believe that they do a better job of handling their finances.
Americans reported that they were most honest about money and finances with their partner or significant other. Almost 50% of those surveyed said that they share everything money related with their partner. Another 30% reported that their partner knows a lot about their finances. The survey found that most Americans were most comfortable sharing their finances with someone they are in a relationship with as opposed to family members, friends, and colleagues at work.
Americans lie about money….a lot.
Self Financial found that over 75% of Americans admitting to lying about their money. That is a big number. That means only 25% of Americans are completely honest about their money situation with others.
Self Financial asked about the top ten lies that Americans tell. The top ten lies can be seen below in order:
1. I lied about how much something cost (47%).
2. I have hidden a purchase from someone close to me (40%).
3. I have mispresented or concealed income on a health insurance application (27%).
4. I have hidden a credit card or a secret bank account from a partner or loved one (24%).
5. I have not been honest about my income on a financial aid application for schooling (23%).
6. I have exaggerated how much an item I have purchased cost to people close to me (22%).
7. I have previously lied about previous salary in a job interview (22%).
8. I have lied about how much debt I have to my partner (15%)
9. I have previously lied on a tax return (13%)
10. I have previously concealed a surprise check, gift, refund, or winnings from my partner (11%).
The next part of the analysis further breaks down reasons behind the top ten money related lies above.
I have downplayed how much something costs to my partner or family.
By far the most common money related lie that Americans told was downplaying how much something costs to someone else. This is a small white lie for many people with little repercussions, so it is not totally surprising to see this type of lie top the list. Nearly 47% of all Americans have told this type of lie. The survey found that women were more likely to lie about the cost of an item then men. Younger generations were also more likely to try and minimize the cost of an item.
I have hidden a purchase from someone else.
The second most common money related lie that Americans tell focuses on hiding purchases. Over 40% of those surveyed reported that they had completely hidden a purchase from someone else in hopes that they would not notice the purchase. The survey found that women were more likely to hide purchases than their male counterparts. Americans with lower income were also more likely to hide a purchase from someone else.
I have concealed income on a health insurance application.
This lie may come as a surprise to some, however almost 30% of Americans report not being honest with filling out a health insurance application. The survey round that men were more likely to lie about this than their female counterparts.
I have hidden my bank account or my credit cards from my partner.
Concealing credit cards or hidden bank accounts is a common lie for many Americans. Almost 25% of those surveyed say they have at one point hidden a bank account or a credit card from someone else. Younger generations like Millennials were more likely to hide accounts their older generations.
I have concealed income when applying for financial aid.
The survey from Self Financial found that over 23% of those surveyed said they were not entirely truthful when filing out papers for financial aid. Men were more likely to lie about this than women.
I have exaggerated how much an item costs to the people closest to me.
Many Americans like to show off the purchases they buy to their friends and family. Because of this, it is very common for people to lie about how much they paid for an item. Many people feel more successful if they exaggerate the price of an item they own. Men are more likely to exaggerate the cost of an item than women are. Younger generations are also much more likely to inflate the cost of an item to someone else.
I have lied about how much I have earned at a previous job.
Many people lie about their earning when they interview for a new job to try and get a higher base salary from their new employer. Over 20% of Americans have lied about their previous salaries with both men and women equally likely to lie about this.
The full report on the top lies that Americans tell can be seen in the graphic below.
Infographic by: self