When I read about a recent study on financial infidelity last week, I was floored by the results. Financial infidelity is keeping a credit card, checking or savings account a secret from your partner, which 31 percent of people think this is worse than actual cheating, according to this study.
Although initially surprising, it started to make sense. Money is cited as the number one cause of divorce and divorce rates continue to hover at about 50 percent.
This week, I’m sharing some ideas on how financial infidelity can manifest, and how to avoid the temptation.
Not on the same page
Fifteen million people admitted to being guilty of financial infidelity in their relationship.
People often hide purchases or debts because they don’t place value on the same things. For example, one person may highly value travel, while the other partner would just as soon stay home.
If an agreement on how to use expendable income can’t be reached, it can really drive the temptation to hide things.
If you’ve agreed on a budget but don’t frequently have the opportunity to discuss expenses, sometimes things slip through the cracks intentionally or not.
One way to combat this is track your expenses, through a smartphone or even on paper, and meet as frequently as possible — even if it’s only every other week.
Put it on the calendar and do whatever it takes to keep your standing meeting. Communication about spending priorities can work to clear up financial misunderstandings.
Unfortunately, some people spend frivolously as a form of punishment if angry or resentful toward a spouse or partner.
If this happens to you, there are some questions you can ask your financial institution.
If you are the primary on your account, ask if you can remove the secondary from accounts and cards. Unfortunately, if married, you are mutually responsible for debt incurred together.
Financial infidelity can be incredibly troubling, particularly because of how long it may take to recover. Deceitful spending can leave emotional scars. I hope these warning signs and prevention tips can serve as a guide.
Kat’s Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, visit http://communityamerica.com.