Lying by omission can be just as bad as telling an outright fib when it comes to balancing your checkbook with your spouse. Honesty should be the only policy, but complete transparency is not the case with the majority of households. Things can get dicey if money isn't accounted for, raising concerns about online banking security, check fraud or, worse yet, simply creating a void between couples. Finding ways to better communicate and manage money can help reduce stress at home and make shopping more enjoyable.
By the numbers
Lifestyle industry specialists Today.com and SELF conducted a study of honesty and monetary behaviors among cohabitating and married couples which found that some tend to be more upfront than others. The results showed that more than one-third of men tend to hide expenses from their partner, whereas more than half of women were dishonest about their habits toward their significant other.
One strategy that can help in this circumstance is opening an account specifically for expenses and not touching each other's money. This way all the bills will always be covered, and any other outgoing funds won't concern the other person. It also reduces the amount of uncomfortable conversations regarding who's going to cover what this month or why there isn't enough left to pay mandatory bills.
An emotional issue
The problem with being reckless with spending is that it can result in more than just dishonesty about money. Once people start lying to each other about where funds have been placed, the likelihood of things turning sour starts to increase. Some even feel so strongly about the issue that they identify it as cheating, the same as if a significant other was seeing someone else on the side.
The survey by SELF also included questions regarding this "financial infidelity," finding much more unified results. In this matter, two-thirds of men and women felt that cheating with money was just as bad, if not worse, than having a second partner.
Accurately accounting for every penny may not be an option for some couples if they want to make things work for the long run. However, maintaining a solid grasp through opening an account for shared expenses can help stability last in a relationship, one of the key factors to making it work.