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Secret spending shocker – Men spend 55% more than women 'on the side'

04 November 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
• Men spend 55% more than women do on the sly

• Men spend on DVDs, music and gadgets whereas women keep clothes, shoes and handbags a secret

Despite the fact that household budgets are being stretched further, men and women across the UK are spending in secret from their partners, new research from has found; and men are the worst culprits.

In a survey of more than 2,000 Brits, 76 per cent admitted to spending anything up to £20 each month without telling their partners. The remaining 24 per cent confessed to spending more than £20, the average secret monthly spend being £31.

Women are often accused of keeping their shopping a secret from men, especially when it comes to bags and shoes, however, according to the survey, men actually spend more on the sly than women do.

In fact, the survey showed that men keep 55 per cent more spending secret than women do each month, keeping an average of £42 quiet compared to a woman's £27.

Overall, the items most likely to be bought in secret are clothes, however, when this is split between gender, 17 per cent of women secret spend on clothes compared to just six per cent of men. For men, the items most likely to have been bought in secret are DVDs, closely followed by music and gadgets like mobile phones.

Commenting on the results, spokesperson Rachael Stiles, said:

"The results have come as quite a shock, as men have come out on top for secret spending. However, what they have been spending on is quite stereotypical and shows that boys really do love their toys.

"As the UK heads towards a recession there is a chance that secret spending between partners may increase, as when money is tight we are less likely to own up to spending money on non-essentials like a new handbag or perfume."

Commenting on the fact that women actually hide less spending than men, Miss Stiles added: "Our results go to show that women are actually less likely to indulge in secret spending sprees than men, contrary to popular belief!"

However, those spending in secret should keep an eye on their home insurance (, warns Miss Stiles: "Despite the fact that the amount spent in secret each month is relatively small at an average of £31, culprits should be aware that this could push the value of their contents above the amount insured, meaning that if something happened some items would remain uncovered."

When it comes to regions, London is where the most cash is spent covertly, with a total of £36 a month on average, compared to Yorkshire and Humberside, where an average of just £23 is spent in secret each month.

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