Do you lie to your partner about money? 5 ways to 'fess up

One of my friends earns a bit 'o money from blogging, and gets paid through PayPal. She doesn't tell her husband about this -- he has no idea she's got this stash of cash!

Is she lying about money? You better believe it. 

Financial infidelity is more common than you think -- and it ranges from lying about the cost of a $50 pair of shoes to hiding a $500,000 investment that went sour. 

“Money holds a lot of emotional symbolism,” says psychologist Barry McCarthy of the Washington Psychological Center. “Men and women differ in the nature of their infidelity. Men tend to hide income, while women tend to hide excess spending.”

Divorce specialist Linda Cartier adds, “A lot of spouses actually feel that they’re making things better by keeping their purchases and their money habits a secret. They don’t want to argue or have a confrontation.”

But, strong relationships aren’t just about emotional, physical and emotional compatibility – they involve financial compatibility as well. Financial infidelity can destroy a relationship as quickly as emotional or other types of cheating.

Being financially faithful involves complete honesty, similar goals, and workable household budgets. New couples may benefit from marriage contracts and full financial disclosures, but even couples who have been married for decades can rethink their money habits – and fix financial infidelities.

5 ways to 'fess up about your money habits...

1. Accept your spending or saving style. Understand how your and your spouse’s spending styles differ. Different financial styles include being a spender, saver, aggressive investor, cautious investor, etc. When you understand your and your partner’s style, you’re more likely to reconcile your differences.

2. Talk about money – and your money personalities. Discuss how you want to set and achieve financial goals -- including investment portfolios, daily budgets, and last-minute purchases. Don’t forget that lying to your partner about money is financial infidelity, and can drive a wedge in your relationship.

3. Create a financial plan or household budget. If you’re struggling to save money, hire a financial planner or work out a household budget with your partner. Discuss your retirement goals, investment strategies, tax planning, education plans for the kids, etc.

4. Try a new way to be financially honestPiggymojo is a new site that helps you save money by increasing communication in your relationship. For instance, you and your partner will declare your financial goal and pick an image to represent it (eg, save $50 a week for your dream vacation). Or, you can save money for different goals. Instead of an impulse buy, make an impulse save! Then, send your partner a text, email, or tweet with “piggymojo”, the amount of money you saved, and name of the thing you choose not to buy. This not only stops you from lying about money in your love relationship, it can help you save more money and create financial abundance! Before you know it, your savings will add up.

5. Keep some financial accounts separate. You want to be honest about your spending and saving habits, but you also need financial freedom! Make sure you have your own retirement savings, credit cards, bank accounts, and investments in addition to your joint financial portfolio. This money tip protects you from potential financial problems, and increases your sense of independence and personal worth.

Do you and your partner have a joint bank account? Here are the pros and cons of shared money accounts.

Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen a full-time writer and blogger; she created the "Quips and Tips" blogs:

The Best Ways to... is her newest blog.


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