Money and how we deal with it is as unique as we are. Some people are great at saving and planning while others struggle. When we have only our individual accounts and goals to be responsible for, financial accountability is black and white.
However, once you are married, in a relationship or have your financial life interconnected with another, the situation becomes much more involved.
In addition to aligning short- and long-term financial goals, the day to day money matters must also be approached with a common sense of purpose and commitment.
Conversations about money are notoriously difficult, however having them often and routinely will help your joint future dreams and goals become reality.
Unfortunately, all too frequently, people tend to hide accounts, debts and spending from their life partners. Some statistics indicate at least 40% of adults have financial secrets and the number is even higher with millennials. These financial secrets are called financial infidelities.
Technology makes hiding and siloing spending, debt and accounts from our partners easy for those who choose to keep their affairs separate or keep secrets.
Financial infidelity can range from siphoning money out to cover your daily coffee addiction, to hiding compulsive shopping or even a gambling addiction. Some couples choose to build a budget that accounts for ‘free money’ for each person with no need to account for how it is spent. This ‘free money’ gives some freedom without having to feel like you are cheating on your partner. Typically, this is arrived at with planning and intention in connection with discussions and trust.
If this is not the mutually agreed upon arrangement and instead one person is hiding spending or money transactions from the other, then financial infidelity exists in the relationship.
Financial infidelity can have a similar effect on a relationship as infidelity with another person would. For some, a secret financial life is the same as a secret love life.
As with all partnerships, the strength of the partnership is determined by the depth of both parties’ commitment and the quality and transparency of communication between the people involved.
It is never too late to review your spending habits and engage your partner in a discussion about your shared financial life and have an unrestricted discussion.
Open, frank and frequent conversations about money and spending are important to the success of all relationships where common or tied financial goals are involved.
Connect with an Intent Planning advisor to learn more about avoiding or recovering from financial infidelity.