On my Google exploration this morning I came across an interesting survey that was done this year by today.com and SELF Magazine which aimed to uncover some truths about what people really lie about to their partner when it comes to financials.
What the outcome was that 46% of people surveyed had acknowledged keeping money secrets from their partner.
Now in a country where one third of all marriages end in divorce, and money issues have been found to be highly correlated in divorce this does not pose well for the majority of the population.
I thought I would share with you some questions from the survey and my own answers. It may get you thinking about your own “fidelity” issues when it comes to money.
Some of the questions in the survey
At what point in a relationship do you disclose money issues such as a major credit card debt or an unsustainable mortgage?
For us it was when we started getting serious, mainly when we moved in together. Although in my case I was probably less forthcoming with my finances because of the amount of debt I had gotten myself into. I didn’t keep this from my partner because of any other reason that I was embarrassed and ashamed. It really all came out on both sides once we had to apply for a mortgage and since then I think (or I hope) we have both become a lot more open about what is going on.
If you’re married or living with your significant other, how do you and your partner manage your money?
We got married a year ago and now have a joint account which our mortgage and other major bills come out of, but we still maintain our own accounts. We have been a bit lazy but are aiming to move our accounts into one to simplify our banking.
How much money do you feel it’s ok to spend on a joint credit card or from a joint account without consulting your partner?
When it comes to our joint money we tend to say before we spend anything or let the other person know straight away. With me working from home now after losing my job I am finding it harder to spend any money on my own things although that is probably better because it has reigned in my spending!
Have you ever lied about purchases or finances?
I must say I am guilty on this one along with 32% of women in the survey who said that had hidden a purchase from their partner. Usually when he sees me wearing it he knows anyway. Women were nearly 50% more likely to hide purchases or receipts than men-hardly surprising since women tend to be shopaholics.
Do you think financial infidelity leads to sexual infidelity?
On first consideration I would say no, but when you look more closely where this could lead to a breakdown of trust you can understand why 1/3 f respondents said financial infidelity can lead to sexual infidelity. 63% of men and 70% of women think that honesty about money is as important as remaining monogamous.
The main problems
What the experts say about this survey is that the main problem is people feeling awkward about money and how to talk about it. Hiding a new bag or piece of clothing is hardly a problem, but when you are hiding serious money issues this could lead to many more woes and really is just a recipe for something bad to happen.
What you should do?
I found the survey results very interesting. Taking the time to think about the questions really enlightened me to the potential problems that could start to cause cracks in your relationship.
First things first you both need to be honest and frank when talking about money-something I am guilty of because I find it a really awkward topic.
You need to set clear guidelines about expenses and how your money is going to be used. This is not for just one person to decide either.
Often one person in the household has control over financial matters which can lead to disagreements about unequal monetary status and decisions. Make sure you both have equal say and equal involvement.
If you are in some kind of financial trouble and are finding it hard to express to your partner it might be time to bring in some expert help either by way of a counsellor or financial adviser who can help you forge ahead with a new plan together and deal with the underlying issues.