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Sunday, September 21, 2014

How actual couples manage money secrets using real life communication

Money secrets are not uncommon. According to MSNBC, a survey of 23,000 people found 37 percent of men, and 56 percent of women keep money secrets. In a separate study by Smart Money, 36 percent of men were found to keep money secrets and 40 percent of women did. These money secrets come in many forms. For example, Dr. Regina Barreca of Psychology Today says even seemingly minor non-disclosure of financial information is deceitful and potentially harmful to a relationship.

Finance for couples
Money secrets can lead to bigger lies later on
Numerous reasons account for why people keep money secrets. Keeping money secrets is a way some people deal with differences of opinion and how others hide money problems. However, according to Judith Sills, a psychotherapist on Oprah, money secrets are harmful to relationships because they bury or avoid issues that could get bigger; they also  indicate a lack of trust or mutual understanding. Even though one partner thinks he or she is protecting the other from worry, or that a financial matter is a non-issue, it is still often something that should be dealt with together.

Fear of consequences or not knowing how to solve a money matter is not a valid reason to keep money secrets. Instead, the issues should be discussed maturely and reasonably using a “Money Huddle” according to the Money Couple. Moreover, using this technique helps keep other aspects of a relationship sane by airing out money concerns. If carried out correctly money huddles can also help prevent money issues from becoming overblown in addition to helping overcome the money barrier to a more functional relationship.

Being informed about how to talk about money is beneficial to the outcome of financial discussions.  According to research conducted by the Star Tribune, discussing money matters early in a relationship is a good idea. Aleksandra Todorova of Smart Money concurs and states a balanced approach is a good premise with which to approach financial discussions. For example, in matters of spending it is suggested that a budget be the primary focus, and not so much what each individual purchases with their share of the budget. 

After becoming informed about how to talk about money secrets, a way to deal with them is to develop a financial system. For instance, according to WebMd, a reference couple who developed a money method prior to getting married were still doing well as a couple six years later. They used multiple accounts that individualized and jointly distributed money in addition to discussing large money issues together. This approach also confirms the above recommendations of the Money Couple, Dr. Judith Sills and Dr. Regine Barreca.

Image: PDPics; US-PD