Identifying financial infidelity and learning how to curb it

Dec 8, 2022, 3:08 PM | Updated: Mar 28, 2023, 5:19 pm

people are pictured at city creek, shopping habits can be indicative of financial infidelity...

Last-minute shoppers at City Creek in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Lying to your significant other about spending habits, known as financial infidelity, can cause some to reconsider their relationship. One expert says it’s more about keeping secrets than it is about spending.

David Schramm, family life professor and extension specialist at Utah State University spoke to Dave and Dujanovic about what financial infidelity looks like and how to handle it.

Identifying financial infidelity

Schramm said that during the holiday season, it’s common to spend more often. But if that spending becomes a pattern, that’s when it might be time to get professional help.

“If this is a pattern, and it’s sneaky, and we’ve got a credit card, we’ve got these purchases we’re not talking about then we’ve really got to sit down and have a heart-to-heart conversation about what’s acceptable and what’s not,” said Schramm.

When spending is happening secretively and you feel like you’re spending behind your partner’s back, that’s the first sign that something is up, Schramm said. 

Talking to your partner about major spending decisions is critical, Schramm said.

Addressing the issues

Schramm suggested sitting down with your partner to talk about worrisome spending habits, but not in the heat of the moment.

“[Find] the right time that you’re not tired, hungry, you know, lonely, any of those types of feelings.”

Schramm recommended a gentle, humble and honest approach. “Getting all the complete story and divulging everything, don’t hold anything back.”

And for the future, Schramm said to discuss spending limits ahead of time to define good boundaries.

Listen to the full Dave and Dujanovic segment:



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Identifying financial infidelity and learning how to curb it