I was doing my regular web money reading and came across an interesting article on MSN Money Central about marriage infidelity. No, not that kind of infidelity, I'm talking about financial infidelity.
What is financial infidelity?
This is where one spouse in the relationship overspends without the other spouse knowing. I can see this being a major problem if it happens often, especially if money is already tight. According to divorce lawyers interviewed by MSN, they see more divorce cases lead by financial rather than sexual infidelity.
Some marriages never recover from that breach of trust, says Brandt, the lawyer. That's when they come to see her. "I get people at the end of the marriage when it's too late," says Brandt. "You have to start talking about these things before you even get into a marriage."
What's the solution?
I believe that the key to avoid money related issues is through open communication about money. Even with our most trusted partners, some of us still treat money as a taboo subject.
Here is what the MSN article suggests:
Brandt and others advise that the best way for couples to avoid this problem is for both partners to get actively involved in the finances. You don't both have to pay bills, but both partners must be aware of how much money they have and where it's going.
Couples should also have an agreement about how much they can spend using joint funds before they need to clear it with the spouse. Online banking makes it simple to periodically check for unusual withdrawals or changes in financial position. Don't leave financial management all up to one person, especially if that person has had spending problems in the past.
Money may seem like a secretly understood topic, but everyone has their own opinions/views. In addition to the above, David Bach from Smart Couples Finish Rich teaches that the key to financial success between couples is to determine a common ground with regards to money. He suggests to base family financial goals around values instead of monetary goals.
How do we handle purchases in our family? I have to admit that I'm the family chief financial officer but all bigger purchases need to be agreed upon. To give ourselves a little freedom, we each get some discretionary cash at the beginning of each month to spend on whatever we please without question.
If you're in a relationship, how do you deal with purchases? Are you guilty of hiding purchases from your partner?
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