Money Quick Tips: USA TODAY contributor Regina Lewis offers tips on talking to your significant other about financial matters. USA TODAY
With just a few more days until Valentine’s Day, millions of Romeos and Juliets will be planning for a special day. The National Retail Federation recently estimated that we will spend $19.6 billion on the annual celebration of love this year, up significantly from 2017.
The average U.S. consumer will spend about $143 on gifts, food and special occasions to celebrate the day, with about $90 of that to be spent specifically on their spouse or significant other. The rest will be spent on kids, kids’ teachers, friends and co-workers.
All that spending is guaranteed to help the economy; it will be especially fruitful for restaurants, jewelry stores, flower shops, card companies and candy makers. It will also likely result in quite a few marriage proposals (about 10 percent of proposals happen on Valentine’s Day).
But a few will celebrate the day with a dark secret they’re withholding from their partner — a secret bank account or credit card. According to a recent report by Creditcards.com, about 29 million Americans (about one in five) are currently hiding a checking, savings or credit card account from their romantic partner. This practice has been labeled by some as “financial infidelity.”
And if this information were to be found out, the consequences for the relationship could be severe. In the survey, more than half said they’d consider such an offense to be approximately equal to physical cheating.
It’s clear that this issue goes much deeper than just wanting to have a little money to spend for yourself; for many people, it…