We don’t enter into relationships with the intention of sabotaging them, but our behavior can sometimes undermine our best efforts. If you want to avoid the stress of financial infidelity, here are five tips to keep you on track:
1. Communicate expectations early on
I’m not suggesting that you tackle this topic when you first start dating, but if you are committed enough to move toward marriage, it’s time to have this talk. Agree together on a budget and spending priorities. Disclose all accounts, debts and investments up front so there is no temptation to hide them down the road.
2. Determine what level of spending is acceptable
Many couples find it helpful to have a personal allowance or spending threshold that each partner can use at their discretion.
3. Practice transparency
Hiding erodes trust. It’s fine not to communicate everything you spend your money on, as long as you aren’t deliberately hiding details. If you feel the need to hide, it might be time to think about why you want to keep secrets.
4. Have mutual financial goals
Goals are vital to financial success, but they won’t help in a relationship if the goals are not shared by both parties. Do you and your partner have the same financial goals? It might be a good time to decide on what those should be.
5. Recognize your spending triggers
Whether it’s boredom, loneliness, stress or addiction, there are triggers that can cause us to make unwise decisions. Figure out what triggers you to spend money impulsively so you can actively manage that behavior.
Deciding to be faithful to your spouse means being honest in your finances. Don’t let financial fidelity pull you apart – your partner and your budget will thank you!