Did you know that 80% of people have lied to their spouses about spending money? One in five have a secret bank account or credit card. If you’re itching in your seat right now, you should know you’re not alone. ‘Financial infidelity,’ as CBS MoneyWatch coins it, is on the rise according to recent surveys from American Express and CESI Debt Solutions.
Why do partners hide their spending? It could be partly due to the recession. But according to the surveys, people are secretive in order to avoid conflict. Of those surveyed, 43% thought that the truth would start an argument, and 19.9% thought that it would end their marriage. It looks like there are serious money-issues to be resolved.
Half of all marriages end in divorce, and most of these couples cite money as a main reason. We have to think about the role our finances play in our relationships. Just because you are part of a couple doesn’t mean you will have matching money management strategies. The way you handle your paycheck and spending is likely to be very different from the way your spouse does. Rather than hide your shopping bags in the trunk of your car, which is cited as the number one way people hide their purchases from partners, we suggest getting your spending styles in line.
Money is usually a huge source of contention, but it doesn’t have to be. Set aside time (preferably when you are both in a good mood and can focus on the situation at hand) to check in on your expenses and recent purchases. Create saving goals, which not only will ease financial tensions later on down the road, but also is said to help couples create a deeper bond.
Instead of burying your latest buy in the backyard (yes, this was cited as way couples hid their spending), open up. If you can justify the spending to yourself, you should be able to justify it to your partner.