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If Financial Infidelity Has You Lost, Here Is Everything You Need To Know

Posted: May 4, 2020

In a relationship, it is bad if your partner cheats on you. What if it is done with money? Here is everything you need to know about financial infidelity.

Three words, money, marriage and infidelity. Very strange that I used them all together. Getting married to someone is a relationship of love, friendship, companionship and, most importantly, trust.

If either of the partners breaches the trust and cheats on the other, it is termed as infidelity. The dictionary defines infidelity as “the action or state of being unfaithful to a spouse or other sexual partner.” And the key term here is ‘being unfaithful.’

How would you feel if you find out that your partner is cheating on you? Wouldn’t you be shattered completely and wouldn’t the relationship become shaky since the trust was breached?

Now, imagine a situation that your spouse cheats on you on money matters. If you’re being cheated on about money, I call that financial infidelity.

What does financial infidelity mean?

Financial infidelity, simply means either you are lying about your finances or are keeping it secret. In one of my articles, I highlighted, how women need to be empowered financially and need to break the myth, that financial decisions are all a part of the ‘man’s world.’

The more women shy away from financial discussions and decisions, the more are the chances of financial infidelity. By no means, am I saying that only men indulge in financial infidelity, I believe even women can do it.

But what I intend to say is that all financial decisions- investments, loans or large credit card payments should be discussed. These decisions should be taken keeping in mind the family dynamics and the money that one earns. Additionally, one must not get caught in a very high risk investment, which is not as per your risk profile or in a debt trap.

How to get out of financial infidelity

Have an open discussion with your partner– A financial plan is successful only when it aligns the goals of all family members. If you forget to align the goals, it is surely headed to non-achievement and you will end up quitting the plan mid-way.

Involve your children – Most households do not like to discuss money matters in front of kids. The kids are isolated if their parents face any challenges.

Hence, the child is completely oblivious to what’s going on. The child grows into an adult, and by and large the same is repeated with their kids.

Aren’t kids part of the family too? Should they not be aware of how and where the family finances stand? Granted that one doesn’t want to frighten the child. However, not having the child know these things can lead to repercussions beyond imagination. A realistic understanding of the family’s financial situation can create a comfortable boundary.

Imagine a situation, where a child wants a toy that will disturb your monthly expense as there are some major expenses happening. You would be in a spot. Take another example, you are financially sound and there is no challenge. Would you give in to all that your child asks for?

Think about it- by taking small steps, you would inculcate the habit of saving. You would not make them frivolous spenders. And above all, you would make them learn the value of things.

Here is how you involve children in the finances

Give them a small amount of pocket money- This money should be for them to make some expenses on buying gifts. Or to buy a toy that they really want. It should not be so little that they are not able to save or spend anything on meaningful things. Neither should it be so much that they feel they have all the luxury in the world. Involve them in your grocery or vegetable shopping, allow them to count the money to give and get back as change

Teach them the concept of saving- Let me explain this with an example. They get cash gift from their grandparents for their birthday. Say 500-1000 rupees. Ask them would the like to spend it all, save it all or buy something with half the amount and save the rest.

On the saved amount, offer them an interest income which will grow their money. This would encourage the habit of saving and investing

Teach them to earn some money-  You could allow them to do house hold chores like watering the plants, keeping track of bathroom supply, etc. Compensate them as per the job intensity

Here’s how you can fix your finances after financial infidelity

Make a debt repayment plan, set a corpus to repay your debt. Enhance your income and reduce your expenses. Spend maximum time in budgeting. Why not follow the easy way – The Budget rule of 50/30/20.

The rules says spend 50 percent of the post-tax amount on needs. Thirty percent on want. And the remaining 20 percent on savings or debt repayment. However, I wish budgeting was that simple. If you don’t spend time on budgeting, you know why your plans don’t work out

Find ways and means to get rid of any investment, that was forced upon you on pretext of very high returns. Investment planning is not a one time activity. It is an ongoing process and one needs to make efforts to keep at it. As important as planning is, so is the implementation and review.

Make a financial plan to secure your future. Need I say more on this? If you fail here, you know what the future holds for you

Seek professional advice and choose an advisor who works on a plan for you. And make sure they don’t just make a plan that earns them more money.

Here’s to a happier and trust filled relationship!

A version of this was earlier published here.

Picture credits: Pexels

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