How one million of us have a secret credit card to hide lavish purchases from our other half
15:58 GMT, 25 July 2012
Britain is a nation of secret spenders, according to the results of a new study.
More than one million Brits have a secret credit card they use to hide extravagant purchases from their partner, the poll found.
Women are most likely to use their card to buy clothes and shoes, while men often use theirs to pay for expensive gadgets and alcohol.
Just over half of adults – 54 per cent – lie to their loved ones about the number and price of items they buy, the study by Debenhams Personal Finance found.
Big spender: Women are most likely to use a secret credit card to buy clothes and shoes (posed by models)
Of those who tell price-porkies, six in ten lie to their partners and a third hide the truth from their parents.
For 14 per cent, this is because they are embarrassed to be seen splashing out during a recession, while 18 per cent are 'ashamed' of their extravagance.
However, just one in ten men and women suspect their partner of lying to them about their spending, the poll of 2,000 people found.
A sneaky eight per cent also keep a secret stash of cash and three per cent have a secret credit card – that's 1.18 million adults.
Secret shopper: 1.18m adults admitted they spend on a card their other half doesn't know about (posed by model)
Beautician Ann Evans, from Portsmouth, Hants, said she often conceals purchases from her boyfriend because they are 'embarrassingly expensive'.
The 27-year-old said: 'My boyfriend and I are supposed to be keeping a close eye on our spending as we save for a mortgage.
'However, if I’m out shopping with friends I can rarely resist buying a new pair of shoes – or two.
'The shoes I buy can be embarrassingly expensive so there's no way I can tell my boyfriend how much I really pay for them.
'Thankfully he does not know a great deal about fashion so I can tell him they cost much less and he’s none the wiser.
'I did have a secret credit card I used to put some purchases on but I was rumbled when I went to pay with it by mistake when I was with him.'
Mike Hazell, from Debenhams, said: 'Our research shows that during these difficult times, people are becoming less extravagant with their lifestyles.
'Instead they are choosing to play down the true cost of some of their purchases and in some cases even hiding it.
'They admit to feeling guilty or even embarrassed about splashing out on luxuries at a time when many of us are experiencing a strain on our personal finances.
'As long as you act sensibly, if you are going to treat yourself, a credit card can be a good way to make sure you don’t go past your overdraft limit and incur fees and it can also help build up your credit rating.
'But if you really cannot afford something, you should resist temptation and save up for it instead.'
ITEMS WOMEN LIE THE MOST ABOUT BUYING
1. Clothes (47 per cent)
2. Shoes (30 per cent)
3. Gifts (28 per cent)
ITEMS MEN LIE THE MOST ABOUT BUYING
1. Gadgets (30 per cent)
2. Gifts (19 per cent)
3. Alcohol (19 per cent)