Are You Cheating On Your Financial Partner?
Have you ever checked the credit card statement and seen expenses from your partner that have no explanation?
Or maybe you were the one that made an unexplainable purchase. You are not alone. This seems to be a new un-glorifying trend among couples today - Financial infidelity is real. But there is a solution.
Entering any relationship has its challenges. You have two people, with different backgrounds, different experiences, and different personalities. After all, no two people are alike which makes everyone unique. That being said, two people enter a relationship with their own set of paradigms, beliefs and mindsets around money.
Finances still take the cake as the leading cause of relationship stress. What is money? What is a lot of money? What is a little bit of money? Each partner will certainly have their own definition, and when purchases are hidden from your partner based on assumptions, not only does that impact the family finances, it may also impact the relationship.
Here’s one tip you will love. It may even get you those new shoes you know you’ve been eyeing.
Play Money Accounts
When starting a new routine and building that discipline muscle, if it’s not fun you may revert back to your old way of being. Think of a dieting plan with an embedded cheat day. The cheat day makes “the plan” more effective and gives you something to look forward to. You are more likely to exercise supreme discipline for the full week and then go all out on the cheat day - with no regrets, hiding or remorse. This is the key!
Now let’s apply this to your financial life - Set up two accounts, one for you and one for your partner, and designate them as ‘Play Money Accounts’. Some institutions allow you to name your accounts, so if you can do that! This makes it a bit easier to track and every time you see the name, it will spark a little more joy.
Next, after completion of your family budget, you will be aware of your discretionary income (ie. the money you have left over after expenses, debt repayment, current savings, etc). Decide on a fair amount that each partner should receive. After every pay, transfer the amount to each respective account. Now, when a ‘Play Money’ purchase comes up, you spend what you have in your account and there’s no more guilt, shame or hiding.
Treat this as a contractual agreement between you and your partner. You are not to go over or break the rules. If the shoes cost more, you’ll just have to wait until you have enough. In addition to this beautifully designed account, whatever your partner wants to spend their money on is completely up to them. If they decide to save up their Play Money to purchase a $500 remote control car, that’s perfectly fine even though you may not understand it. They probably won’t understand why you need 5 pairs of black heels or so many home decor accents, either. That’s what the account is for and the best part is that there is no more judgement, arguments or questioning over the ‘random’ purchases. See - now you can freely go get those shoes you were eyeing!