More than 40% of couples in the United States commit financial infidelity – lying to their partners about money by doing things like hiding existing debt, excessive spending, or the amount of money they actually have.
Recently engaged, Naturi Naughton, who plays the sassy Tasha St. Patrick in Starz drama Power, recently shared with teamwealthwednesdays.com that she and her fiancé, whose name she has yet to reveal, we’re having none of that.
“We talk about everything, that’s one of the reasons I’m excited to marry him,” the beaming bride to be told Tisdale and Yee.
“He brought financial awareness into my life,” she adds.
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Financial Fidelity From The Start
Naughton says she and her fiancé talked about money from the very beginning – something she says all couples should do.
“I would tell you ladies and men to say early on ‘How is your credit score? What is your financial situation.’ You need to ask these questions up front,” says Naughton.
The Power star says she and her future husband, who were introduced by her series co-star, Omari Hardwick, were not only transparent in the early days of their relationship, but they continue to teach each other a lot when it comes to financial wellness.
“I remember when we first started dating, he was very transparent,” says Naughton.
“He comes from a family that has taught him a lot about entrepreneurship, and he taught me a lot about the importance of building your own brand, doing your own thing, and being managerial,” she adds.
Lifting Each Other Up
Naughton says one of the most important things she’s learned from her fiancé is that there’s more to financial health than earning money.
“it’s funny because even though I’m in the business, I was just a workaholic. You know, we think ‘if I work and I make money and I get a check, I’m good.’ But I never really went deep into those other layers of financial wellness,” says Naughton.
“There’s no one way to get money and to be successful. I think that’s important for all of us to know. We have that conversation all the time,” she adds.
What Financial Secrecy Does To Relationships
Money is a leading cause of breakups and divorce, and like most relationship problems, the culprits are usually rooted in a lack of communication and trust.
Financial infidelity is a big deal. If someone is hiding money or debt from their partner, it makes it almost impossible to make an accurate budget. In addition, if you’re keeping a financial secret, it’s only natural for your partner to wonder what other secrets you might be hiding. That’s how relationships end up in big trouble.
Despite how common it is, over a quarter of adults (27%) agree that financial infidelity is worse than physical infidelity, according to a study commissioned by creditcards.com.
The study also found that while more than a third of those who commit financial infidelity say they do it ‘for privacy and a desire to control their finances,’ almost as many say they keep money secrets because they are ‘embarrassed’ about the way they handle money.
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No one can deny that talking about money, particularly with someone whose opinion matters deeply to you, can feel difficult, if not impossible.
Here are some tips that will help you get these challenging conversations started:
- Communicate: Ask your prospective partner if they think it’s important for couples to be on the same page about money, and why.
- Share: Be open about your financial challenges and how they’ve impacted you financially, psychologically, and emotionally. Ask them to do the same.
- Lose the notion of right and wrong: There are no right and wrong beliefs about money, just different ones, and they all come from our individual experiences. To tell someone they’re wrong is telling them that your experiences are more valuable than theirs.
There’s a lot more to money than dollars and cents. Our sense of self, values, and belief systems all play a role in our financial behavior. While the ‘money talk’ is not easy, open communication in spite of those hard feelings will strengthen your relationship and make your bond with your partner even stronger.