(NEWS CENTER) A recent survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education found that one in three adults who combined their finances in a current or past relationship admitted to lying to their partner about their spending habits. Seventy-six percent of those surveyed said that financial infidelity had affected their relationship. Certified Financial Planner Sarah Halpin from the Danforth Group of Wells Fargo Advisors said financial infidelity occurs when you keep a secret about money. There are three major ways adults commit financial infidelity.
Do you lie about purchases or daily spending? Halpin said half of all adults admit they have hidden a minor purchase from their partner or spouse. Halpin said it might be something small, like a new dress or golf club, but the small lies compound over time. She said to consider an agreement where each individual in the relationship has a certain amount of discretionary spending. Spending beyond the agreed upon limit should be discussed and family goals and household resources must be considered, said Halpin.
Do you know what bank accounts, investments, retirement and life insurance you and your partner hold? A Fidelity study stated that on average only 35 percent of couples jointly develop a plan for retirement and only 17 percent have complete confidence in their spouse to manage the finances if they were to die. Halpin said identifying and sharing individual and joint financial resources is critical to maintaining financial balance. It's important to assess the family's financial situation and discuss future goals, said Halpin. Plan out joint goals for the next five years like buying a home, financing college, or an anniversary trip, she said.
Do you believe that the person who makes more money should have more power and control over how it is spent? In the survey, 57 percent of respondents felt that money is used as a means of control in their relationship. Halpin said that the couple should look at income and expenses from a household perspective, rather than an individual one. Otherwise, resentment will build. Money should be discussed and planned as a team, said Halpin.