One of the advantages of being a single person is you can spend your own money on what you want, when you want. Of course, the downside is there isn’t another person to share the cost, so freedom comes at a price. Getting together with another person usually means setting agreed financial goals and this can lead to feelings of guilt when you spend money on anything other than what has been agreed. Just as there are people who eat chocolate bars when no one is watching, there are those who secretly spend. It’s what is referred to as ‘financial infidelity’. Secret spending can range from sneaking shopping bags into the house when no-one is looking to secretly clocking up debts on credit cards or gambling.
A recent survey of couples in Colorado, USA, found that thirty one percent of people surveyed who shared finances with a partner had been deceptive about money and more than half had hidden either cash or purchases from their partner at some point. Even worse, around 34% said they had lied about debt or income to their partner. In the same survey, 16% said their financial infidelity had resulted in divorce.
When two people come together, they should be willing to talk openly about their financial situation; that is, their income, assets and any debts they have. If a prospective partner is reluctant to share financial information, there is a reasonable chance that person will be a secret spender during the relationship.
It is important that each partner in a relationship has access to money that is theirs to spend on whatever they want. By having separate accounts for ‘pocket money’ into which an agreed amount is deposited every payday, partners can have a degree of financial freedom without resorting to spending in secret.