Sharing is not always caring. Living with your spouse means sharing everything, money included. Unfortunately when it comes to financial matters things can get murky. It can be difficult to let someone into that part of your life because we view money as such a personal thing. But knowing about the financial fidelity or infidelity of your relationship can make a world of difference in both financial situations and matters of the heart.
Some things you can do to stay financially true to your partner and to yourself is:
- Create a joint account to take care of expenses like your mortgage, groceries, utilizes, healthcare, etc.
- Manage the joint account together creating trust and emotional bonding.
- Decide together the amount of money each should contribute the joint account.
- Discuss the need or possibility of creating small individual accounts should you desire.
If it is bothersome for you to share all your money, discuss the positives of creating an account that is just for each of you. Although it may be hard, you must have a conversation with your partner about this. Put it in terms that they can understand and that won’t make them think you are hiding anything. Explain the need for individuality which can help in reducing conflicts as each may have a need to occasionally indulge with things such as manicures, haircuts, coffee shop stops or personal gifts without feeling guilty. By putting it in a way that supports each needing some separate funds to perhaps indulge in a little “me” time won’t sound so serious. Set an amount that each partner can feel comfortable with to spend on “fun and personal” activities.
Financial infidelity is something you want to avoid at all costs. It can be as detrimental to a relationship as sexual infidelity. It may seem more innocent but you can hurt your partner in unexpected ways. Be careful to watch for missing money or a gap in bank or credit card statements. If you get cut off from a joint account or bill collectors start calling you or new toys you never thought you could afford start showing up, be on alert. Don’t be afraid to confront your partner. You are both adults and can handle the situation. Money issues can cause a lot of stress, but Financial Fidelity can set the stage for healthy financial outcomes.
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