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Peter Roberts

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Peter Roberts - UCL

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Global financial meltdown? It's ok, just lie about it

11 November 2008  |  3436 views  |  0

A study by Axa has found that more than one in three people admit to having misled a partner, friend or relation about the state of their finances. It also concludes the current dodgy state of the economy could be encouraging more and more of us to be 'economical' with the truth about how well off we are.

The research found folk doing everything from fibbing about the size of their income to concealing the purchase of luxury items. One man confessed to emptying his children's savings account and pretending the cash was a bonus, although it had actually been cancelled.

Psychologist, Andrew Kinder says "In the current climate, concealing expensive purchases or unwise investments from those closest to us is likely to exacerbate the problem. Coming clean can provide just the emotional spur we need to review all aspects of our income, expenditure and savings. This is the worst possible time to be in denial about your finances."

Apparently the biggest deceivers are in the 25 – 44 year old bracket, with 44 per cent confessing to financial falsehoods. The over 55s are the most honest with fewer than one in four confessing to dishonesty.

Well I'm 33 and I'm open about being skint. I just lie about my age. Ok I was 33 in 1994. I was skint then too come to think of it, but happy.

Andrew carries on cheerily: "With harsh times ahead, people are likely to be in an ongoing cycle of panic and denial. Now is the ideal time to come clean and kick-start a more proactive approach to managing your cash and planning for the future, so you are better placed to weather the storm".


Those top 10 confessions in full:

  • "I spent £250 on a pair of shoes last week and had to ask my mum to pay my mortgage for me."
  • "I lied about the state of my finances when I got seriously overdrawn as I didn't want my partner to worry. I have now taken out a second job."
  • "I opened a separate internet only savings account in my name only to hide it from my wife. If we have it, she thinks we need to spend it."
  • "I have made out that I do not have much money in savings when in fact I have been very cautious over the years and saved quite a bit. I do not wish others to know so we either go Dutch or they pay for me."
  • "I concealed the fact that I got a pay rise from my partner to prevent her from going on a spending spree."
  • "I have lied to my husband about the amount that I have paid for clothes and when he asks 'is that new' I tell him that I have had it for years."
  • "I took a job that I really wanted and exaggerated the salary in order to gain my partners approval."
  • "I was at a party with several wealthy 'high flyer's' and exaggerated my salary in order to compete."
  • "I lied to friends about the rate of pay which I received because it was considerably more than they received for doing the same job."
  • "I spent my student loan of £1,500 shopping in less than a week and had to pay for rent and food using my credit card."

More from the AXA web site.


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job title Moodle support
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member since 2008
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I was the technical lead on the Finextra family of web sites from 1999 to 2009. I'm at UCL these days supporting Moodle.

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