Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 06/11/2019

Singles are trapped living with an ex-partner because they financially cannot move out, while 16% of those in relationships are keeping thousands of pounds in savings secret from their partners, new research reveals.

Research from Direct Line Home Insurance found that nine million ex-partners have to remain living with each other for an average of four months before they can afford to, or are contractually able to, move out. Meanwhile, one in 10 (one million) have continued living with their ex for over 10 months. Furthermore, the research found that one in 25 of people who have broken up with their partner are still living with their ex due to mortgage or rental payments being based on two incomes.

While the time needed to organise somewhere new to live was the biggest reason why ex-partners remained living together, cited by 28% as the reason why they did not immediately move out, a significant 16% said the reason why they stayed was due to neither partner being able to afford to buy the other person out or because they could not afford to live on their own. In addition to this, 13% stated they stayed living together because they had children.

Secret savings stash

Meanwhile, 16% of those in a relationship are keeping their savings secret from their partners. According to research by AJ Bell, 18% of women keep their personal savings secret from their partner, while 14% of men do the same. The research found that men tend to have more in savings; £8,333 compared to £6,325 saved by women, with men more likely to keep their savings secret in case of a relationship breakdown and women preferring to keep a secret fund to retain their independence.

Commenting on the research into secret saving habits, Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at AJ Bell, said: “Whether people keep a pot of money secret from their partner is a deeply personal thing, and there’s no right answer. It’s understandable that those who’ve had messy break-ups in the past will want their own secret stash, or runaway fund as it’s often called, and no-one should be forced to stay in a relationship because they can’t afford to leave. However, for others this would be too big a secret to keep from their partner.

“It also depends how you deal with your finances as a couple. If you agreed to pool all your money and earnings then having a secret pot of money your partner doesn't know about might feel like a bigger omission, whereas if you have entirely separate money and accounts you might feel perfectly entitled to have a pot of savings and not talk to your partner about it.”

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