Lying About Money Has Negative Repercussions

Published on January 27th, 2014

A poll by Forbes revealed that 31% of spouses lie about money in their marriage. Whatever the reason, lying about finances can cause serious damage in a relationship, to your bank accounts and to both of your credit scores. Keep open communication and avoid the following “little white lies”:

“This? It was only $50!”

When asked how much a certain purchase cost, many husbands and wives will round down to make the price seem better than it was. While the difference between $50 and $60 may seem minor, it can throw off your entire budget, especially if you do it frequently. Either find an item that is closer to the price you plan on telling your spouse, or keep the receipts and show it to them.

“Our account looks fine!”

Since financial issues can be a serious part of marital disputes, it is tempting to cover up a low bank balance. If you are in charge of finances, it is even more tempting to keep your spouse in the dark, even when you are in deep trouble. That is why it is beneficial to take a team approach when it comes to finances – you are equal partners, so you should both have equal access to accounts. You will be less likely to gloss over a low balance if you know your spouse can check it at any time. This also means you can work together to bring the balance back to an acceptable level.

“What’s mine is yours”

Sharing funds is fine, as long as you can do it without begrudging each other. If one spouse works and the other does not, the spouse who is working needs to be comfortable with the fact that you’re both spending from the same pot. If you aren’t comfortable with your spouse spending shared money, it may be worthwhile to consider using separate bank accounts. If you choose to take this route, it is important to disclose all your accounts to your partner.

“I paid that bill on time”

People can be forgetful, and that doesn’t exclude forgetting to pay bills. When your spouse asks if you paid the electric bill, it may be tempting to say yes and pay it as quickly as possible, but this can cause damage to your credit.

“It was on sale”

When you lie to your spouse about how much you spend on something, you are just as much lying to yourself in order to feel better. Before you make a major purchase, even if it is on sale, you should consult with your significant other. Teamwork results in true savings that are far superior than those you make up.

“Of course we can afford it”

Imagine you are wanting a new big screen television. Your spouse is worried about the finances, so you tell them there is no need to worry – you can easily afford it. It may solve the immediate problem of convincing him or her to agree, but in the long run could create further problems. Maintaining a household budget should be a team effort, and before offering statements about what you can and cannot afford, you should sit down together, check your accounts and make a joint decision about whether to follow through with any major purchases.

“We can afford the debt”

Debt is almost never a good idea. Even if you find a little wiggle room in your budget, the only “good debt” to have is one that involves an asset that appreciates over time. Using debt to buy a home within your means is a good idea, while using debt to buy a flashy sports car you can’t really afford is not a good idea. It is misleading to tell your spouse that you have budgeted for a certain amount of debt.

“What bill?”

Have you ever caught yourself throwing a bill in the trash before your spouse gets home from work? While not a direct lie, you are lying by omission. If you have overspent on your credit card or have a high cell phone bill, hiding the end result means you either live with the guilt or eventually get caught. It might be difficult, but you are better off coming clean instead of letting a hidden bill contaminate your marriage.

Money arguments will happen. The secret to success starts by not keeping secrets. You are a team and it is up to both of you to come clean about spending habits so you can fix the problems in your budget.


Courtesy of Money Crashers

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