Ever make a purchase you’d rather not publicize? Perhaps you’ve visited a strip club (for the first time, of course), or blew half of your paycheck on an Xbox One? We spend money all sorts of ways, and sometimes, we’d rather keep secret how, or just how much, we’ve let go. If you’re single, this isn’t really that big of a deal. You know what’s happening with your money and finances. If you have a handle on things, it’s not a big deal.
But if you’re married, live with your parents, or have a family to take care of? Secret spending can create some serious issues. Your spouse may start questioning why there’s an apparent crater in the joint bank account, for example. Or your parents might be wondering why you have a job, but can’t seem to hold onto your money for more than five minutes.
Secretly spending money
In these cases, secret spending can be a problem. A new report from CouponCabin.com dug into this topic to find out what products and services people are secretly spending the most on.
According to a CouponCabin press release, “53% of U.S. adults admit to ‘always’ or ‘often’ hiding their spending from a loved one, with the average amount concealed being a staggering $264 a month.” The report details a survey of 2,000 people, who most commonly said that they secretly spend in order to avoid a possible argument.
About 10% of those polled said they hide more than $1,000 in spending a month. Another 28% admitted to having secret bank accounts in order to facilitate their spending. “Some of us can be a little flush when it comes to spending, and have told white lies about what we’ve bought for one reason or another,” said Scott Kluth, founder and CEO of CouponCabin.
“Americans are planning to spend over $900 on Christmas this year, it’s important that we’re honest with our family and friends about our money habits,” he said.
What are people secretly spending their money on? Here are the 12 most common secret purchases.
12. Beauty products
A lot of guys would be surprised by how much makeup costs, and how much money people spend on it. Evidently, it’s enough to keep a secret. About 2% of those polled admitted to secretly buying beauty products.
11. TV subscriptions
Want every NFL game, or every NHL game, and Netflix, Hulu, and HBO? That’s going to add up — and is hard to justify if you’re on a budget. For that reason, some people pull the trigger and don’t say anything to their families. Roughly 7% of CouponCabin’s respondents admitted to secretly buying TV subscriptions.
It can be hard to come to terms with how big your bar tab was the previous night. Spending on beer and booze can get out of control, and the dollar amount may not be something you want to brag about. An estimated 7% of respondents admitted to secret spending on alcohol.
9. Clothes and accessories
A decent wardrobe can be expensive. While you can go for bargains or cheaper versions of trendy clothes, sometimes you want to splurge. But being up front about how much you’re spending can be tough. About 7% of those polled secretly spent money on clothes and accessories.
These days, hailing a taxi, Uber, or Lyft is almost too easy. So easy, in fact, that you may end up calling for a ride when you should be taking the bus, walking, or driving yourself. That can add up. Seven percent of CouponCabin’s respondents identified this as an area of secret spending.
You knew drugs would make the list. People don’t want to admit to doing them, let alone trying to justify buying them. About 8% of respondents fell into this category.
6. Going out
We all like to go out. That may include drinks, food, entertainment — and it can add up quick. An estimated 8% of respondents admitted to secretly spending money on a night out.
5. Adult material
Like drugs, justifying a purchase of adult material is tough. That’s why you’ll want to keep it a secret. This applied to 8% of respondents.
You want the new iPhone, MacBook, exploding Samsung — whatever. But they’re pricey items. And if your current phone or video game system works perfectly fine? You’re not going to want to be forthright about how much you spent on the newest gadgets. Eight percent of respondents admitted to secret spending on tech items.
Eating out, or at least eating well (foie gras, anyone?), can be expensive. A full third of CouponCabin’s respondents said they have spent money on food and kept it from their family members.
Gambling is very hard to justify and explain to your family members. Especially if it has a serious impact on your family budgets. About 41% of respondents said they have kept the fact that they’ve gambled money away a secret from their families.
Cigarettes are expensive. And it’s not something you’ll want to spend money on if you don’t have to. That makes them the top secret purchase on the list. A full 44% of respondents admitted to spending money on cigarettes and keeping it from their family members.