Maintaining Financial Honesty in a Relationship

Planning & Saving
on May 31, 2013

In 2011, a survey was conducted that showed most American couples were not honest with their significant others when it came to finances. Even though 91% of those surveyed stated that their partner’s financial history was important to talk about before a couple got married, 26% said that they try to avoid talking about finances. You and your significant other can use this information and choose to treat your finances together differently. There are some easy ways that you and your partner can encourage honesty when it comes to your finances.

Set A Budget Together

If you and your partner don’t know how much your expenses are, you won’t know how much discretionary spending the each of you can have. By bringing all of this information to the table you can each sit down and decide how much spending money you can have each money, how much needs to go into savings and how much should go towards bills. Every dollar should have a place in your budget. You can’t be honest with your spouse if you don’t know how the money should be spent. Once in a relationship, many people feel guilty about spending and not saving money and feel the need to hide it from their partner. There is no reason to feel this guilt or to hide your spending if you both have agreed to how your income will be spent beforehand.

Agree To What Needs To Be Shared And What Doesn’t

You probably don’t need to tell your partner every time you spend a few dollars on a cup of coffee or fill up your car with gas. However, big purchases like buying a new wardrobe or purchasing a TV should be discussed beforehand. Set rules about what purchases you need to discuss with your partner before they are made and what you can buy without discussing it with the other person. This will make it easier to be honest with each other about your spending habits.

Remember That Your Spending Money Is Your Own Money

It’s important that each person not only get their own spending money, but that they do not have to be accountable to the other person with how it’s spent. Spending money should be a certain amount that each person gets each week that they can save or blow as they wish. Having this small amount of money that each person doesn’t have to be accountable to the other person for will allow a feeling of freedom. By having a small amount of money that can be spent on anything and not feeling like you have to be saving money all the time, it may lessen the need to go over the budget buying something and trying to hide it from the other person.

Make A Plan Of What To Do When Backsliding Happens

Every now and then a person will go over in a certain category in their budget. It’s important to plan for this and discuss with your partner how you will deal with this as a couple when this happens. You should agree to not yell at the other person and to have a frank conversation of the reasons behind going over your budget. You will be more likely to come clean with your partner if you know there won’t be any confrontation involved.

In conclusion, unfortunately more and more couples are not talking about finances and they are hiding important information from each other. This can be disastrous for a relationship. By following the above tips, you and your partner can have a healthy approach to finances. If you’d like to read more of the results of the above mentioned survey, please visit the survey.

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