Financial infidelity are you or your partner a money cheat Woman Online MagazineWoman Online

Post on: 14 Август, 2016 No Comment

Financial infidelity are you or your partner a money cheat Woman Online MagazineWoman Online

Are you secretively spending money; in possession of a number of credit cards, do you have secret accounts or stashes of money, or incurring debt unknown to your partner? Financial infidelity is on the rise and many women can probably admit to having bought a favourite pair of designer shoes or jacket, even though she has agreed with her partner to stick to a strict budget.

According to a survey, approximately 30% of all couples sharing money, have lied to their partner about finances, which includes secret purchases and hidden credit cards/bank accounts. However, this behaviour can cause major obstacles in your relationship, including issues around trust, responsibility and communication.

With a little more than 40% of marriages ending in divorce, one of the main contributing factors to couples not living ‘happily ever after’ is money problems. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43% of first marriages end in separation or divorce within 15 years.

There are a number of things that cause financial infidelity in relationships, but the biggest reason that individuals resort to financial cheating is the lack of communication.

“It is a fact that very few couples are honest with each other about their financial status. These issues range from how much they earn to whether they’re in debt. Unfortunately, many people do not realise that when getting married, it means that your spouse’s finances will affect yours, so it is imperative to know exactly what you are getting yourself into,” says Boitumelo Mothoagae, Manager – Customer Management Operations Liberty (& Financial Adviser).

“When you and your partner have decided to enter into a serious, committed relationship, the first thing to do, is for each of you to pull your own credit records and bank statements over the past 12 months and to then go through them with one another. This will help you to understand each other’s spending habits and strengths or weaknesses with regards to money,” she adds. “Determine what all your liabilities and assets are. Know what assets, investments, policies, and employee benefits you each have.”

According to Mothoagae, its best to try and settle as many of your liabilities as possible before getting married. If your spouse was married before, or has children with someone else, determine what his/her responsibilities are to them.

“Financial infidelity is like catching your spouse having an affair. If you are involved in a serious relationship whereby you live together and share costs such as rent, food costs and the general running of the home, it is imperative that discussions around your finances take place,” says Mothoagae. “Intimate relationships are built upon trust, honesty, commitment and the ability to compromise. Financial infidelity is a serious breach of ALL these relationship pillars.”

To prevent your relationship from plunging into the waters of financial infidelity, here are a few basic rules:

1. Communicate effectively to develop your financial goals and budgets accordingly. Discuss what is important to both of you from a financial perspective and then plan a strategy based upon mutual respect and compromise.

2. Live without plastic lock up your credit and debit cards. Generations lived without the convenience of plastic and found it much easier to live within their means. Try it. Set a weekly budget, draw that amount from the ATM each week, and live on it. Unless you are travelling where a card can be invaluable you may find it easier than you imagined. Once you get used to it, keep going. Studies show you may spend up to 25% less.

3. Reduce or at least consolidate your debt pretty much any debt other than a reasonable home loan is a financial burden. Credit card debt is a disaster youre basically going backward financially as long as you carry an outstanding balance from month to month. Try to consolidate all your debt so that you pay the lowest interest possible. Also, try to build up an emergency fund of three months’ salary to meet unforeseen events which may result in significant debt.

4. Fun money each person should have some ‘fun money’ of their own to use at their discretion, completely separate from the household accounts. Agree on an amount for each person and stick to the agreed amounts.

5. Invest in yourself after all, your knowledge and skills are your most important assets. Consider how much you could improve your lot in life if you invested in a leadership workshop, better communication skills or anything to improve your work performance. In time it should pay off handsomely.

6. Don’t overspend if you have overspent, reveal this to your partner. Rather be open about money leaving or that has left your account than to remain quiet and end up in secretive debt.

7. Money-conflict if this is a longstanding problem in your relationship, consider advice from a financial planner to assist you in getting to the heart of the problem.

8. Hide and seek if you are hiding money because you don’t trust your partner’s financial management skills, try credit counselling through a reputable organisation.

Remember, your financial adviser can help you make the most of your finances by helping you develop a financial plan that suits your circumstances and to ensure that you stay on track with your finances.

By Liberty Group Limited

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