Financial Infidelity on the rise
Financial infidelity is on the rise, as shown in an American study by the NEFE. 42% of those surveyed admitted to lying or hiding money matters from their partners. This can range from hiding small purchases and receipts, to hiding an entire bank account. Although some of these cases may be for surprise vacations and proposals, financial infidelity causes a lack of transparency that causes huge problems down the line.
Financial deception on any level can cause serious harm to a relationship. When you combine finances with a significant other, you form a social contract to co-operate, and manage money with transparency. Hiding finances causes arguments, mistrust and even divorce. Although in some rare cases, couples can be brought closer after facing their financial issues together, this is an uncommon result.
Of those who admitted to lying, 39% had hidden purchases, bank accounts, bills and cash from their partners. 16% were lying about their level of debt, and amount they earn. In the digital age, it has become easy to conceal information without leaving a paper trail. For example, credit card statements can be emailed to any email you provide.
It’s hard to say why financial infidelity is on the rise, and could be caused by a lack of financial education. But financial infidelity occurs most regularly in relationships where one person assumes responsibility for combined finances. It also occurs most commonly in young adults between the ages of 18 and 34. When both partners are involved in financial management, it’s harder to get away with deceit.
Financial problems usually stay hidden until major events, such as purchasing a home, or car, forces it out. It can even drag out until divorce proceedings or the death of a partner. Money is one of the most common topics of argument in a relationship, and can be a top predictor for divorce. Dating couples don’t usually have the conversations they need to about money. And when they share a household, the need for this talk becomes more pressing.
Communication is key
Just like most relationship advice, the solution is to communicate with your partner. You need to open up, start a conversation, get on the same page and follow up regularly. This doesn’t mean you need to constantly monitor each dime you both spend, but to agree upon a budgeting and money management system that works for both of you. A threshold amount must also be set, for how much you are allowed to spend without each others approval.
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