An article in today’s Investor’s Business Daily entitled “Avoid Financial Infidelity’s High Cost” by Paul Katzeff caught my eye because many readers of The Financial Woman are married. According to the article 29% of U.S. adults in a committed relationship said they had lied to their partner about spending based on a 2005 survey by Harris Interactive for lawyers.com and Redbook magazine. The article quotes family therapist Doug Welpton as stating that cheating with money is a form of infidelity that can be very damaging because it creates a lack of trust.
Welpton suggests the following steps to avoid such problems. First couples should talk about money. Discussions should include creating a financial plan with investment goals budgeted spending and how your portfolio is invested. Second agree on spending limits and freedom over accessing each other’s assets. Third be honest in your money discussions and last understand each other’s different feelings about spending.
I think the last suggestion is so important because we are all products of our environment when it comes to money. If you grew up in a home that was overly frugal odds are that you have a scarcity mentality. If on the other hand you grew up in a home where the attitude was that you would always have what you need then you may be more at ease with spending.
It is not always easy to find time to sit down and discuss money with your spouse. Schedule time on your calendar to do so now. Doing so will help you reach your financial goals as a couple and keep you on the same page.