Many Brits are keeping their financial affairs a secret and are even refusing to tell their partners about it, according to new research.

The Prudential has revealed that many couples fail to tell their other half about debts, savings or investments, while 14% have never told their partner how much they earn.

One in eight couples aged 40 or over have run up secret debts, while one in five have hidden savings or investments averaging more than £20,000 from their partners.

It is also worth noting that more than a fifth of couples have no idea how much their partner has in terms of pension savings.

Reasons for staying quiet

This secrecy highlights the many aspects of finances that couples simply do not want to talk about, but this makes budgeting and financial management considerably more difficult.

Women were marginally more likely to keep quiet about their borrowing, as 12% of men stay silent compared to 14% of women.

One of the major reasons for failing to disclose information relating to financial situations results from wanting to maintain a degree of independence, according to the survey.

Despite this it could potentially lead to financial issues in the future, so having an awkward conversation about finances could be better in the long-term than merely staying quiet.

For instance, those keeping cash stashed away for retirement could in fact be missing out on some vital pensions relief as a result.

The pros and cons of having financial secrets

Similarly, anyone with a partner in debt could be in for a nasty shock upon retirement when it becomes obvious there is not as much available funding as they originally thought.

Of those in debt, 56% said the basic cost of living was the root cause, while one in five say they overspent in a previous relationship.

In some cases there were simple explanations for why couples were keeping some finances secret from each other – 22% said it was as a result of buying a present or gift for their partner.

A further 22% said it was because they were planning for a major purchase such as a new car or surprise holiday and didn’t want their partner to find out too soon.

Assistance with budgeting or financial management

For anyone looking for an alternative financial management option, choosing to load up a prepaid card could help you to budget more effectively.

By loading up a card, only the money on it can then be spent, so there is no risk of debt and users can have a better understanding of what finances are available.

The can be used both online and in retail outlets, while a prepaid card could also be used to withdraw cash from an ATM in a similar fashion to a debit or credit card.