Financial infidelity is keeping money secrets from your partner. It might include having a secret bank account or credit card or not admitting to how much money you make. Is this dangerous in a relationship? It can be. How would you feel to suddenly discover that your partner had a credit card with $5000.00 of charges? You might feel differently if you found out your partner had a $5000.00 savings account and was planning a surprise for your anniversary with the money.
It’s important for couples to have open and honest discussions about their finances and even more important that they set financial goals. I often recommend that a couple begin by evaluating their financial situation with a net worth statement. A net worth statement adds up all of their assets (home, savings, retirement funds, household goods, auto, collectibles etc.) and from that total subtracts their liabilities (student loans, mortgage, auto loans, medical bills, credit card debt, etc.). This figure is their net worth and a number to grow by paying down debt and increasing savings. By looking at this assessment, the couple can determine their financial goals for the next 6 months, five years and beyond.
I know that money is stressful for many people and discussions about money can often turn into arguments. It’s important to focus on your financial situation as it is now and how you would like it to be in the future. Using energy to develop solutions is much more productive than blaming each other. The other important factor is to schedule the time to talk about finances. Most of us have busy lives and by the time the house is settled in the evening, no one really feels like talking about their finances. Do a pick a time for a “money date” with just the two of you and no interruptions. Plan an hour or two to see how you are doing, tweaking your budget and checking on the progress of your goals.
If you find it difficult to get started or need help with your budget or debt; contact us at 1-888-799-2227 or www.creditcounselingwi.org.