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 May 14, 2005
Liar, liar
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UNDATED Seventy-one percent of us own up to financial fibbing of one kind or another, according to a new Money magazine survey.

Money senior writer Ellen McGirt says the other 29 percent are probably lying. She says the temptation to pad a little bit and stretch the truth about how well we're doing is very high.

Most of our money secrets seem harmless. Thirteen percent of the people surveyed admitted to telling their spouse they'd spent less than they actually did on a shoe purchase, for example.

But McGirt says the truth-stretching can become more serious. Twenty-four percent of the people in the survey said that they routinely lie on their taxes, inflating charitable deductions, understating taxable income and so on.

And, more than a-third say they deceive themselves about money. They do that by stuffing their financial statements into a drawer, not paying attention to financial news, never seeing an adviser or putting off paying bills.

McGirt says if you can't be honest with yourself, it's hard to chart a course to your financial future.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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