“I’ve had these forever” you hear.
In the back of your mind, you know you’ve never seen those items, but, in the moment, you let it go.
Maybe she’s right. Maybe you just don’t pay attention anymore.
A few weeks later you’re reconciling the bank account, and realize that, somehow, the math is off.
Then it hits you…those clothes were brand new and you aren’t crazy! Now you’re locked into a heated money fight.
Financial infidelity is the worst.
Lying about money can lead to some pretty serious marriage problems.
See, when you’re following a spending plan like we teach, each spouse has the opportunity to voice their needs and concerns.
If you need clothing that month, speak up so it can be planned for. This process eliminates the unnecessary questioning and fighting that usually happens when someone brings a new item home.
You get to decide, as one, on the financial priorities for your family that month.
Essentially, you are creating a contract together that says “We will spend our money in this manner. If anything changes, we will come to an agreement before we make any changes.”
Spending outside of the plan may not seem like a huge deal (especially if it’s only a few bucks, right), but you are lying and violating the trust of your partner when you don’t communicate your intentions.
Do this a lot over time, and you’ll have even bigger (and more expensive) problems to deal with.
So why do people commit financial infidelity?
For various reasons actually.
One could be an addiction. I know a couple that was, unfortunately, torn apart because one spouse had racked up tens of thousands of dollars on an undisclosed credit card that he was using for online games.
Her trust was so violated that she couldn’t even stand to look at him anymore.
This is serious business here!
I don’t even think I need to get into the other addictions like drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc. If you or your spouse has an addiction, it’s time to realize that this is bigger than a financial concern.
It’s time to seek out professional help in the form of a certified counselor.
Also, when one spouse feels their concerns aren’t being heard with regards to the spending plan, they may, eventually, begin to spend money as they please.
Again, this is not necessarily a financial issue, but, rather, a marriage and communication issue. Sit down with your spouse ASAP and talk through these things.
If you can’t seem to peacefully discuss the issue, I would suggest seeing a marriage counselor.
Whatever is causing one spouse to spend outside of the plan needs to be addressed in a calm and respectful manner. You guys are a team.
Also, if you’re creating the spending plan and your spouse disagrees with something, you must come to a compromise. You don’t get to be a budget bully. This is a major cause of financial infidelity, and can be a sign of an even deeper marriage problem.
Ignoring or completely overruling your spouse only creates division. Every person in the relationship has a say when it comes to managing the money.
I’ll say it again: every person in the relationship has a say when it comes to managing the money.
The best way to eliminate money fights is to unite around your goals, then create a plan to reach them together.
If you don’t establish the vision and direction for your family, then it’s hard to know how to properly manage the money.
On the other hand, its easier to prioritize saving when it’s attached to a goal. It’s not a hassle for the natural saver to add a little fun money into your plan so the spender isn’t absolutely miserable every month.
The keys to this entire thing are communication and unity. COMMUNICATION AND UNITY.
Everybody has a voice in the process, and we must come to an agreement on our plan.
Otherwise, we leave the door wide open for financial infidelity to creep in and cause havoc in our relationships.
If you would like to learn how to create a spending plan that works for everyone, schedule a (free) introductory call with a financial coach here.