29th October 2020

More than a fifth (21%) of women have setup 'secret funds' from a partner in case they wanted to separate - Fidelity International


Secret funds have been setup by 21% of women aged 18-34, 20% of those living with their partner and 27% of those with children

·         When asked for the reasons behind this, 48% of women said they wanted to be prepared for any eventuality

·         Almost half - 44% - said they have always had separate savings and therefore always will

·         While 15% reported that they were aware their partner was pooling away their own money, so they chose to do the same


Over a fifth of women (22%) have a secret savings fund to provide them with financial support should their relationship end or they choose to leave their partner, according to new research from Fidelity International1 - rising to more than a quarter (27%) of women with children.


Nearly half (48%) of women with a secret fund said they wanted to be prepared for any eventuality, while 44% said they have always had separate savings from their partner and wanted to retain a sense of financial independence.


Data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that while families containing a married or civil partnered couple has decreased over the past 10 years, those choosing to co-habit (live together) has increased from 15.3% to 18.4% - equivalent to 3.5 million families as of 20192. This growing trend highlights the importance for women of feeling financially secure, particularly if they do not have a legal arrangement in place to support them if a relationship ends.


Maike Currie, Investment Director at Fidelity International, comments: “When it comes to managing your money, being financially independent is one of the first steps to feeling financially empowered. It’s so important, particularly considering the economic uncertainty we all face, that people have sufficient confidence in their finances to make decisions about all aspects of their lives.


“Ultimately, everyone should have a fall-back. This doesn’t necessarily mean you want to ‘run away’ from your partner, or that you are being secretive about your money. It does, however, mean you have the savings to make choices, whether that’s leaving a failing relationship, resigning from a bad job or toxic company, or even a controlling parent. It’s about having the means to make those choices. With more and more couples choosing to live together rather than marrying, ensuring financial independence is even more important to the younger generation.”


Our research also shows the different ways that households divide their regular outgoings.


Who is more likely to pay for household expenditures in a relationship?




Utility bills









School fees



Children’s healthcare



Children’s clothing



Presents for loved ones




Having a financial arrangement in place to pay for these ongoing household costs is critical should the relationship come to an end.


Maike Currie, Investment Director at Fidelity International, comments: “The growing number of women putting aside money for the future - regardless of their relationship status - shows that taking control of your own money can do more than just allow women to have an income of their own; money can also offer a sense of freedom and provide an opportunity to change your personal circumstances if necessary.


“The motherhood penalty combined with the gender pay gap and can mean that women’s personal finances suffer long into their retirement, compared to their male counterparts, with many facing a massive gender pension gap, as a result. According to research 50% more women than men are heading towards retirement without any private pension savings3. But there are steps that women can take to ensure that they are financially empowered - making sure they understand all of their household’s financial obligations and outgoings; establishing their own savings and investments; and exploring whether there are opportunities to maximise their workplace pension by increasing contributions.”



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