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Personal Finance in a Relationship

June 20, 2013

Whether you are married or in a committed relationship, personal finance plays a huge role in the relationship’s quality and longevity. Lack of communication and not having an upfront understanding of how each partner values money will likely lead to problems down the road.

So many times couples make the mistake that their inappropriate spending and personal finance habits have no effect on their spouse or significant other. If they are employed, then they may feel that it’s their money and they can spend it any way they want. However, when you are in a relationship, everything that is done affects both partners. When money is mishandled, it causes tension and stress in the relationship, and ultimately destroys trust. In worst-case scenarios, it can cause total financial collapse for one or both partners, and the relationship as a whole. It is almost impossible for a relationship to survive, let alone recover from this kind of financial damage.

Overspending

Most people don’t intentionally plan to overspend. Some reasons are they often lack self-control, or think they can catch up when they are paid again, or don’t have a budget set up. Out of control credit card debt can have a devastating effect on a relationship. Not differentiating between wants and needs can cause overspending, as well as assuming the other person will always cover the bills. Living beyond your paycheck plagues our society today. Credit cards are geared to do just that.

Gluttony infects our society. The need to have more “stuff” will cause people to overspend in a heartbeat. Because we have a misguided perception of success, people often overspend to present a pseudo affluent image in order to be accepted. Overspending is rarely malicious, yet whatever the cause, it always has the same destructive effect. Many times counseling can bring overspending under control.

Cheating

Infidelity destroys a relationship, including financial infidelity. Financial infidelity occurs when one partner ignores the promises and agreements made by both partners and about how money will be spent in the relationship. For example, suppose it occurs when one partner buys an expensive new outfit. Then, when the other partner finds it in the closet and asks about it, you lie about the price. Everything is fine until the credit card bill comes. Another example of financial infidelity is when a couple can no longer afford the planned summer vacation because one partner gambled away the savings at the local casino after promising not to do that.

Cheating, regardless of type, amounts to betrayal and very often cannot be reconciled with the betrayed partner, and the relationship crumbles. According to an April 24, 2012 poll by Self Magazine and Today, nearly one-half of all people have lied to their spouse or significant other about money. That is a shocking revelation about how we handle financial issues within relationships. Relationships will not survive this kind of behavior. Without trust and integrity, relationships will die.

 

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