Financial infidelity: Not just cheatin’ hearts, but cheatin’ wallets too
By the U of A System Division of Agriculture
Feb. 10, 2017
- Two in five Americans admit to financial infidelity
- Couples who talk about money weekly more likely to be ‘extremely happy’
(Newsrooms: With illustration at www.flickr.com/photos/uacescomm/32805168115)
LITTLE ROCK -- Infidelity isn’t just a matter for hearts. It can hit wallets too, said Laura Hendrix, a personal finance expert and assistant professor with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
“Two in five Americans admit to committing financial infidelity against their partner,” said Hendrix, citing a Harris Poll commissioned by the Endowment for Financial Education.
“Hiding purchases or accounts, lying about debt or overspending can create problems,” she said. “It’s unfair if one partner is brown-bagging lunch and clipping coupons while the other is eating out every day and going on spending sprees.”
Like just about every other aspect of a healthy relationship, couples who talk about money at least once a week are more likely than others to describe their relationship as “extremely happy,” according the “Love & Money Survey” released in 2015 survey by TD Bank.
“Money can be a stressful topic, but talking to your spouse about money may be a way to improve your relationship,” Hendrix said. “It’s critical that this be a conversation and not a blame session.”
Hendrix said the weekly money talk could include reviewing spending, looking over statements or talking about financial news. She recommends:
- Choose a time and place. Being relaxed and without interruptions will allow each of you to express your thoughts and more readily listen to what your partner has to say.
- Each partner should be allowed time to express their thoughts and feelings.
- Listen without interruption or judgment. Remember, you are on the same team.
- Respond with compassion and respect. Do not abuse that trust by using what the person shared to hurt them. Compassion is a key to positive financial discussions in marriage.
Whether a new or a long-established couple, the Financial Smart Start for Newlyweds fact sheet series can help you find ways to eliminate money stress. The fact sheets are available at: www.uaex.edu/money.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service