Financial Planning Can Help You Avoid Financial Infidelity

If you are married or live with your partner, your financial planning should involve your spouse, but for various reasons, a number of people find it difficult to be honest with a partner about money and spending.

In “Financial infidelity has its costs,” USA Today looked at the results of a survey with conflicting messages: “Sixty-three percent of men and 70% of women said they think honesty about money is as important as remaining monogamous.” and yet, “Lying to a partner about money was admitted by 56% of women and 37% of men in the poll.” We prize honesty in theory but are not always able to behave honestly in real life.

One woman USA Today interviewed said that she hides money so she can treat herself to skin treatments and the article suggests that she does so because she is feeling the strain of full-time work and motherhood and also because her family moved to further her husband’s career. Certainly she deserves to treat herself, but does she have to hide to do so? Being honest about the stress and sacrifices of family life won’t take away the desire for pampering but this kind of communication may keep you from undermining your relationship with secrecy.

John K. Bell, a therapist and licensed clinical social worker is quoted as saying, “Financial infidelity is marked by secrecy…Financial infidelity can certainly damage a relationship beyond repair…”

The article also references Suze Orman’s 2007 book “Women and Money” in which Orman opines that women tend to avoid discussing money because they feel it is a male domain.

Hiding spending can damage your relationship with your spouse or partner. Additionally, if you are single, it is also damaging if you are less than honest with yourself about where your money is going. While you are ultimately responsible for your own spending, a Fee-Only financial planner can help you become more accountable.

About the author

Claire Emory, MBA, CFA, CFP®

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