Do you need to worry about financial infidelity?

Relationships need to be open and honest to survive and this extends to finances just as it does to every other part of a relationship.

Keeping discretionary spending a secret from your partner puts your relationship at risk if they discover later that you have been lying.

Feeling cheated by a partner who disguises their impulsive purchases, or goes back on their word to spend less, has been found to elicit the same feelings of betrayal as other types of infidelity.

This is magnified if the couple have agreed to save for a goal, such as a new car or a holiday, but miss their target. When crunch time comes and there isn’t enough money to fulfil their goal, because one of them has been hiding their spending, you can expect fireworks.

Some couples don’t seem to mind upping the stakes and, rather than overspending, will keep a stash of cash or credit that their partner doesn’t know about.

With statistics showing that couples who argue about finances once a week were more than 30 per cent more likely to divorce than those who argued less, the chances of setting your relationship up for failure by not being on the same page financially appears to be risky.

Research by the Financial Planning Association (FPA) has found that more than 46 per cent of Australians are taking the lead role in financial decision making, leaving their partners in the dark.

Don’t be embarrassed about talking money
If you don’t think you can afford to do something or think that a purchase should be put on hold to clear some debt, don’t be afraid to say so.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and just let those awkward conversations slide, but when you’ve committed a large chunk of cash to a holiday of a lifetime and your mortgage payment is past due, there is likely to be more embarrassment coming your way.

Being open and honest about money and spending is the only way to stop it from being a divisive issue in any relationship.

Don’t be afraid to keep your finances separate
If you’re in a new relationship, it may seem romantic to share everything from your bed to your bank account, but more often than not these days couples are choosing to manage their own money.

This is often the case when one person enters the relationship with more than the other.

The one potential downfall is when it comes to apply to Services Australia for any benefits, your de facto partner’s income and assets will be assessed as part of your claim.

Never let one person be fully in charge of the finances
The reality is that some people are better than others at managing money but on the flip side, it also makes it easier to hide your true financial situation if only one person controls the finances.

This can lead to a poor credit rating for both of you if bills aren’t paid, the lack of a financial buffer if savings are spent and added stress that really isn’t good in any relationship.

How do you and your partner handle the finances in your relationship?

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Written by Ben

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