Money Talks, So Should You

Sharing a bed forever, but not their passwords

Plenty of married couples don't exchange personal finance information.

Brian O'Connell
by Brian O'Connell, MainStreet contributor

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — More than 2 million Americans got hitched last year, down from 2.3 million in 2000 and from 2.5 million in 1984, the high-water market for U.S.C newlyweds, according to TheWeddingreport.com.

U.S. lovebirds certainly aren’t stingy on what they’ll spend on their weddings — a total of more than $50 billion, or an average $25,000 or so per couple, the website reports.

READ: Your Facebook 'Likes' can reveal too much

But one thing those newlyweds won’t do is share their credit scores — among other key personal data — with their matrimonial soul mates. So says a survey from LifeLock, a Tempe, Ariz., data protection firm of 2,000 Americans 18 and over that estimates 30 million Americans “would never inform their significant other about credit issues.”

That’s not a good idea if you’re looking for a good, healthy, long-term relationship, LifeLock says.

“People have a real interest in their significant other’s financial information, but many do not openly discuss it, which can lead to unpleasant surprises,” says Hilary Schneider, the company’s president.

Some demographic groups are more likely than others to keep their credit score a secret, the survey says. For example, U.S. males age 18-34 are “least likely” to cough up data on their personal credit issues. After that, U.S. women age 35-44 are the next least likely to divulge their credit scores or other information on their personal credit health.

The survey offers some other personal views on what newlyweds and significant others will share, and what they won’t, in romantic bliss.

  • 40 million Americans who are married and own a smartphone won’t share its password with their spouse. Only 2.5 million Americans are open to sharing the password with spouses or friends.
  • Men 55 and over are least likely to share a smartphone password, while men age 18-34 are most likely.
  • 71 percent of Americans in a relationship would tell their spouses and significant others they were victims of identity theft. LifeLock says couples who don’t share information about I.D. theft experiences risk damaging their relationships.

INFOGRAPHIC: The cost of being in a wedding party

If you’re heading toward ‘til death do you part, LifeLock’s advice is simple and direct:

Share everything now and avoid potential breakup costs.

If not, sharing your smartphone password could be the least of your problems.

 

Brian O’Connell has 15 years of experience covering business news and trends, particularly in the financial, health care and career management sectors. He has written 14 books and appeared on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, C-Span, Bloomberg, CBS Radio and other media outlets and in such publications as The Wall Street Journal and The Street.com. He is a former Wall Street bond trader.