What is financial infidelity and how to prevent it from ruining your life

One of the most dangerous things that can ruin your peaceful, calm relationship is infidelity. It is hard to save a relationship from the grasp of infidelity and it may even affect you from the core of your mind. Along with such devastating emotional or physical infidelity, many couples are also facing a new kind of impactful infidelity. It is popularly known as financial infidelity.

As per a survey from CreditCards.com, nearly 30 million Americans are hiding a checking, savings, or credit card account from their spouse or live-in partner. That’s approximately 1 out of every 5 citizens in this country that have a live-in partner or a spouse.

As per a report published in 2018, 19% of such couples had closed bank accounts or credit cards without telling their partners. Apart from that, 20% of those couples also admitted that they can cope up with physical cheating, but they can’t stand financial fidelity.

If you have also experienced financial infidelity in your relationship, then it will be very difficult for you to find your partner trustworthy again. You might also think that they might commit other types of financial infidelity whenever they have the chance.

So, you should know about this risk and how to handle such a situation along with the help of your partner.

Here I am going to discuss the symptoms and how to prevent financial infidelity.

So, let’s first understand the types of financial infidelity and how their characteristics are.

#Symptoms of financial infidelity

A survey commenced by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) in 2016 revealed that financial infidelity is quite common in couples, especially young couples. As per the survey conducted in 2018 by CreditCards.com, 15% of the couples admitted they have gone through financial infidelity and hid money matters from their partners. But, another 23% admitted that they believe their partners were always honest with them. However, few couples admit that they have lied about money or hidden financial issues from their respective partners when the situation calls.

Here are the symptoms of financial infidelity that couples may notice .

1. Lying about income

The survey conducted by the NEFE revealed 1 in every 20 individuals lied to their spouse about how much they earn in a month from different sources. Another survey in 2018 by Safe Home has also confirmed this fact with higher responses.

The survey said approximately 13% of men and 15% of women admitted that they hide their income details from their partners.

What are the reasons behind this act?

Couples may hide about their earning sources due to several reasons. Some may think their actual income may lure their spouses to overspend. Others may also exaggerate their income to show off how well they are doing professionally. This way a low-income individual can prevent the embarrassment from his/her spouse.

2. Spending secretly

It is the most common of all forms of financial infidelity. Couples spend money on their own choices but hesitate to reveal it to their partners. So, they have to cover up their undesired spending and keep paying. As per the NEFE survey, 22% of the couples admitted that they hide small purchases from their spouses. Another 7% also do the same, but they normally do this with major purchases. Another 12% said they hid bills or bank statements from their partners.

A survey, organized by Money Magazine in 2014, revealed that 22% of married couples hide their spending from their spouses. Men used to hide their expenses on electronics or sports items, or any other hobby oriented things. The women, on the other hand, typically go for clothing, shoes, and gift items for their friends and family.

People may use other ways to hide their expenses except for hiding the credit card bills. They may hide their late payment fees, their additional interest payments on payday loans, or hide expensive purchases, which can create a big gap in their household budget later on.

3. Hiding their accounts

It might be one of the most uncommon symptoms of financial infidelity. As per the NEFE survey, 6% of couples admitted that they keep secret bank accounts, away from the eyes of their partners. This number is greater with the couples who do not stay together.

The CreditCards.com survey also revealed that among all couples,
23% had secret accounts, especially those who lived apart.

4. Hiding their debts

One of the most serious forms of financial infidelity is hiding debts from your partner. About 1 in 12 couples hide their debt burden from their partners, as per the survey by the NEFE. Another survey organized by NBC News in 2018 said, 27% of couples, who responded in that survey, used deceptive statements to confuse their partners about the debts they have taken out.

Practically, taking out huge amounts of debt and repaying them is quite difficult if you do not act responsibly. These debts will engage a good amount of money from your monthly budget, which is hard to conceal. You may make those debt payments without telling your spouse, but how do you explain the situation when you’ll face a sudden financial crunch and you have no money to manage it? At that time you might want to inform your partner about the issue and borrow money from him/her.

#How to prevent financial infidelity

The sooner you stop this madness, the better it is for your relationship. Keep yourself and your partner safe from financial infidelity before it starts hurting you both. How can you do it? Let’s check out the options below.

a. Rectify your mistakes

It is wise to start rectifying the mistakes you have committed earlier. It is the best way to stop financial infidelity and make yourself completely clean about all other financial mistakes. Once everything is open to your spouse, there’s nothing more to fear about! You can confidently start repairing the damage you have done.

The next step should be building faith yet again! You and your spouse need to start solving any issues together. Your spouse was not aware of the fact that you have committed so much financially wrong. So, he or she should have enough time to adjust and understand the problem. You should also consider the fact that you may need a good amount of time to solve your issues completely. Your spouse may not cooperate with you easily since you have cheated with him/her.

If you feel that you need professional help to recover from this issue, then you may consider consulting a counselor to work on your relationship.

b. Find the core reasons

You should find the core reasons if you want to stop financial infidelity. Being a partner you should identify the behavioral pattern of your partner that may indicate his/her financial moves. For example – If your spouse is a shopaholic and spends too much on shopping, you should suggest him/her to take a break and only go shopping with you. This way you may help him/her to get rid of the shopping addiction.

You can’t do this alone. Your partner should also show confidence and willingness to change his/her daily spending patterns. This way he/she can control the shopping addiction

There are cases where one of the partners stole the identity of the other partner and took out huge loans or opened new credit cards. Unfortunately, when the other partner came to know about such financial infidelity, it was too late. Being the victim of an identity theft, the credit score of that partner might get a severe blow.

Such fraud can be detected only if you review your credit report daily.

c. Create a debt payoff plan

You need to wipe off the mess you have created through financial infidelity. So, you may create a solid debt payoff plan and get rid of all your debts as soon as possible. You should do it by collaborating with your spouse. Choose a time, and bring all the documents regarding your debts, consult with your spouse, and decide how to pay off your debts one by one. Make sure no debts should remain outside the list and make sure you pay them off totally.

You may discuss with your spouse and decide which debt repayment method should be best for you. You need to follow a proper budget so that you can save as much as possible to pay some extra money towards the debts. You may choose the debt snowball or debt avalanche method to handle high-interest debts.

d. Plan for your future

You might have to arrange a meeting with your spouse and discuss the financial situation you both are going through. Both of you should talk peacefully, without blaming each other for past mistakes. The meetings should focus on categories where the budget has reached the allocated limit.

You may need to attend a few meetings to repair your relationship. If you are experiencing financial infidelity, you may separate your money matters from your spouse for the time being, and later can re-establish your relationship.

e. Consider all options

Dealing with financial infidelity can be emotionally stressful. If you want you may include any third person to step in and solve your issues. If the problem continues to happen, you may opt for temporary separation and take a break from that relationship.

If one of the partners does not agree to co-operate or help each other, then it will be wise to end the relationship once and for all. However, it is wise not to make the final decision in a hurry. Take your time to handle finances during your divorce.

How to fight financial anxiety and depression like a professional

“Debt means enslavement to the past, no matter how much you want to plan well for the future and live according to your own standards today. Unless you’re free from the bondage of paying for your past, you can’t responsibly live in the present and plan for the future.”

― Tsh Oxenreider, Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living

We all know that debt can damage our financial health. But how many of us know that debt can also harm our mental and physical health to a drastic level?

For years, studies have revealed that people who carry debt also faced higher rates of mental health issues like anxiety and depression, compared to normal debt-free people.
You may get several monetary benefits if you deal with your financial problems. Those benefits may include big savings and relief from high-interest debts. This will improve your finances as well as improve your mood. The less you worry about financial issues, the more you can enjoy life without being depressed or anxious.

Let’s check out the issues financial anxiety may cause you.

Side effects of financial anxiety and depression

As per Mayo Clinic, financial anxiety and depression can cause serious problems like:

  • Insomnia or too much sleep
  • Headaches, weight gain, digestive problems
  • Lack of concentration
  • Nervousness and panic disorders
  • Hallucinations
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Performance issues at work
  • Spoiled family life

Debt itself may cause serious health issues. Generation Z, having a large debt burden, also suffers from high rates of high blood pressure and heart diseases like stroke and cardiac arrest.

So, let’s discuss some ways to fight financial anxiety and depression, and rebuild your finances.

1. Identify the reasons behind your stressful situation

Whether it’s related to savings or credit card debts, it’s important to identify what’s causing your anxiety. List the biggest financial sources of stress and remember them.
You’ll understand that you are depressed due to the debt you acquired in the past, and anxious about how you are going to manage your payments in the future.
But if you want to stop the financial anxiety and depression, and other related health consequences, you have to closely examine all of your debts.
Checking the details of your debts and analyzing the terms, interest rates, will be a good start.

2. Choose a suitable debt- elimination method

Once you know how much you owe and to whom, it’s time to choose the best suitable repayment method:

  • Snowball Method:You have to make the minimum payments on all your debts. If you have any money left, then engage it to pay the smallest debt balance. Practically, this way you can get success sooner.
  • Avalanche method: You have to prepare a list of your debts according to their interest rates, starting from highest to lowest. Then make the minimum payments on all of your debts and engage the surplus money to pay off the highest interest debt.

You may opt for the balance transfer method to consolidate high-interest credit card balances. But make sure you pay the total balance before the introductory term ends.

3. Create a good emergency fund

People become anxious about the situations that are yet to come. You can not create a perfect plan to stop anxiety. However, it is possible to create a provision to back up your finances. Many personal finance experts may suggest you to create an emergency fund of three to six months’ worth of expenses. This way you can get relief from the stress and anxiety that might hit you as a sudden financial crisis.

4. Find time for yourself

You can easily tackle your financial anxiety if you want to. You need to take care of the different things in your life such as finances, relationships, personal hygiene, etc. Trust me, you can easily manage your finances and maintain your stress levels all by yourself. You just need to adapt few activities such as meditation, exercise, listening to melodies, etc.
The more you can keep your mind calm, the more effectively you can fight anxiety and depression.

5. Get rid of financial shame

Past financial mismanagement can lead you to face financial shame. This may create a constant feeling of anxiety. When you feel that shame about money, remember money experts also became experts by performing mistakes. It’s just a matter of time and experience which will also make you a money management expert.
If you are having any confusion about this situation, talk to an expert for further guidance on how to manage your finances like a pro.

6. Meet an advisor

Make an appointment with a financial advisor. Talk to him clearly about your financial anxiety and depression. An advisor can suggest the best ways to conquer your fears about finances.

Endnotes

It is quite normal to become financially anxious or depressed. But with proper guidance and self-motivation you can overcome this issue once and for all.

Self-care and saving money – How to achieve them together?

Self-care or taking care of yourself isn’t just a trendy term. It plays an important role in the real world and also in all parts of your life. Generally, we have a concept in our mind that doing self-care is nothing but a way to look after our mental and emotional health. But the concept is much wider than that. Doing self-care may include mental, physical, and financial well being.

To maintain good financial health you’ll also need a strong self-care routine just like mental or physical health care. When you are dealing with financial matters, then you have to consider your financial situation and spend some time to devote your mental energy. This is how you can make your money work.

But it is not as easy as it sounds. Then, what do you need to do? Let’s find out in the discussion below.

Steps to follow when you want to save money while doing self-care:

1. Exercising

Exercising is important for taking care of your health and it’s an effective money saving tip. It’s one of the most important things to follow in your daily life. During exercise your body produces endorphins. This hormone helps your mind to fight against mental illness. Doing regular exercises may keep your body healthy and recharge your mind. to get an expensive gym membership for that! To get physically fit you just need a good pair of sneakers, a pair of comfortable clothes for exercise, and a path on which you can run or walk every day. This way you can save a good amount of your gym membership fees. You may also buy old gym stuff such as dumbbells, barbells, chest expander, and other kits at a cheaper price.

2. Proper resting

Another basic requirement of self-care is to take rest properly. This means you need to get enough sleep at night, and practically also take days off if required. Just taking a day off can give you proper rest to boost your mental and physical health. You will find yourself more energetic and productive after you return to work with a fresh mind after a day off.If you have more energy to perform above your daily work, you may engage yourself in some side hustles to earn more than your regular income.

Taking proper rest may save you money too. How? Let me explain.

You can decide or make choices better when your mind is calm and focused. It only happens when you are well-rested. As per a study governed by Harvard University, daily at least eight hours of sleep can reduce your risk of chronic health issues. Health problems are proven expensive, which might push you straight into debt. So, taking proper rest is practically an easy way to save money and avoid debt.

3. Budgeting and scheduling for shopping

If you like clothes, then you may consider shopping as a part of self-care. However, you must know that shopping as self-care can be the opposite of actual self-care if you’re doing it wrong. Too much shopping can ruin your financial self-care habits.

There are times in your life when spending a bit more on the things you like may seem justified. But spending too much on non-necessities is wrong if you have a tight budget. You must create and follow a budget while buying clothes. Not only budgeting, but you must also prepare a detailed plan of what you want to buy, where you want to buy, and when you want to buy.

Using credit cards while shopping can be risky for you if you do not maintain the limit. It is better if you can use cash instead of credit cards while shopping. Cash will be a limited resource to make payments while shopping, so you can control your spending urges if you use cash. If you are currently running on a low-income profile, it will be a good option to save money from salary.

4. Meal planning and scheduling

If you like homemade food, you might consider a cooked meal as a way of self-care. Taking good care for yourself can be quite easier if you eat healthy, homemade food. For this, you must prepare a weekly or monthly grocery shopping list so that you can buy what you need to make a great meal.

You may list your groceries considering your weekly meal plan. Keep a chalkboard on the refrigerator and write down what we’re going to cook for a week. This way you may adjust or change your meal plan at any point in time. Normally, planning can help you buy things in bulk and save you money.

5. Visualize your goals

Visualization is necessary if you want to motivate yourself and achieve no matter what your goals are. With finances, you may set many big goals, but your day-to-day decisions will make those goals achievable. Just like you start with a goal to live healthy, you must motivate yourself to visualize that goal by maintaining positive healthy habits regularly. Similarly you should also do stuff that can motivate you on self-care goals.

If you prepare a plan to fulfil your financial self-care goals, you can definitely figure out ‘why’ you are doing it and “how to stay on track”. Knowing your goals makes you happier as well as push you to achieve them.

6. Attending library sessions

Visiting the library is one of the most popular self-care activities you could find. Normally, members of a library may donate a few of their books. This way you may get new books every year by giving a nominal membership charge. The best thing about this habit is, you can save all the money you are going to spend on books. You can get books without spending $25 – $30 on hardcover editions. You may visit the library, sit over there for a while and enjoy great creations free; there’s nothing more amazing than that, isn’t it?

7. Get organized, think ahead

Financial self-care might not be possible if you are not organized enough to keep all the documents, passwords, and other numbers and forms related to them safe. On the other hand, you need to organize all your documents in a way so that you can get them easily during emergencies.

It is also important to think ahead. It will be comforting if you can prepare a financial plan not only for today but also for your upcoming days. You can strengthen your financial security by lifting a big weight from your shoulders. Gradually, you may experience a sense of financial freedom that was missing from your life.

These are your top 3 financial goals for 2020 – Start working now

These are your top 3 financial goals for 2020 – Start working now

The year 2020 has begun. 2019 is past now. This means 90% of Americans have started listing their financial goals to manage money like a pro. After all, money is everything. It can give people what they cherish and desire.

In this post, we will discuss the top 3 financial goals of Americans in 2020 and what can be done to achieve them.

Top 3 financial goals for 2020 – Tips to achieve them

Here are the top financial goals for Americans in 2020 and a few tips to achieve them.

  1. Save dollars for better financial stability: This is an important financial goal for many reasons. If you don’t have enough money in your savings account, then it will be difficult for you to cover living expenses and emergency expenses.

    Recession is expected to hit in 2020. So this year is expected to be full of financial uncertainties. Anything can happen this year. Some people may lose their jobs. Some people may not get a pay hike even after giving their best performance. Some people may not get a job for a long long time. This is why saving money is the number 1 financial goal of Americans.

    An emergency fund is the need of the hour. It can help people survive difficult times. According to financial experts, people should build a fat financial cushion for 2020. It should have enough money to cover 3-6 months of expenses.

    Tips to build an emergency fund in 2020

    (i) Set aside 10% of your paycheck for building your emergency fund

    (ii) Set up a budget to reduce your unnecessary expenses and trigger savings

    (iii) Lead a frugal life to reduce the wastage of money and generate savings
    See also: 12 Amazing tips to live a frugal life as a single

  2. Clear your debts to reduce financial stress: There are 2 types of debts – good and bad . A few examples of good debts are mortgage and student loans. Credit card debts and payday loans are bad debts. Now, it takes time to pay off home loans and student loans. But the same thing can’t be said about credit card debts and payday loans. These are bad debts and have extremely high-interest rates. This is why the second most important financial goal of the Americans is to get rid of debts.

    Tips to pay off your debts

    (i) Set up a budget and reduce your expenses to generate extra cash. Use this money to pay off credit card debts.

    (ii) Set up an effective debt payoff plan to eliminate your debts one by one. Know how to consolidate debts in the most effective way.

    (iii) Increase your income to have extra money for repaying your debts.

  3. Get yourself a second job to increase income: Since recession will hit the country in 2020, so it’s assumed that the job market will be dicey. It’s best to look for a second job before the recession hits the country. If you’re a web developer, then you can do freelancing. You can develop and design websites for various clients on weekdays and weekends to make extra money. Even if you don’t get a pay hike in 2020, then also you won’t suffer financially in this year.

Conclusion

Saving dollars, clearing your debts, and increasing your income are the 3 most popular financial goals of the Americans. If your retirement savings account needs a boost, then it would be best to add it to your list of financial resolutions as well.