What is Financial Infidelity?
Financial Infidelity is hiding financial information, financial transactions, and other important money matters from your spouse or any partner you are in a committed relationship with that involves handling of financial matters together.
I wish to use Tagalog words to underscore the impact. Ito ay isang pagtataksil.
It might be a shock to some who are so used to having their “own money” even if married. So let us establish some premises here by answering the following questions.
Did you sign a prenuptial agreement that exempts your marriage from being governed by the Absolute Community of Property under the Philippine Constitution? (To know more about this, read or watch One Heart One Soul One Balance Sheet.)
1. The reason why our constitution provides for the absolute community of property is that the family is the basic unit of society. Because of this, resources such as money is assumed to be equitably used for the benefit of the family members.
2. Did you have a verbal yet very clear agreement with your partner that you will not co-mingle your funds? Note that this is under the premise that each partner has adequate financial resources.
3. Are you in an abusive relationship that necessitates your setting aside funds secretly for eventual escape from your abusive breadwinner? (The usual example for this is a wife who has no access to family earnings and adequate funds of her own making herself endure abuse.)
If you answered yes to any of the above, then non-disclosure of financial transactions, information, and other important financial matters may not form of financial infidelity. However, if you answered no to all of the above, there should be full disclosure on money matters.
Here are 10 signs that you may be guilty of Financial Infidelity or Pinansyal na Pagtatksil:
1. You hide your debts from your partner.
2. You hide your excessive expenditures from your partner.
3. You lie about the use of family money.
4. You siphon money from family accounts to other parties without prior consent/notice to your partner.
5. You make big ticket expenditures that may affect your family’s financial condition without the consent of your partner.
6. You lie about your income. Note that this may be in the form of understating your income or also lying about losing your source of income.
7. You lend large amounts of money without the consent of your partner.
8. You hide your bank accounts and credit card debts from your partner.
9. You sell family assets without the consent of your partner.
10. You pawn family assets without the consent of your partner.
How many did you check in the above list? 1/10? 2/10? 5/10? Or 10/10?
Preventing Financial Infidelity
Just like any form of infidelity, it usually starts with one innocent and seemingly safe deed, with no intention of hurting the loved one. As a simple coffee with an ex without informing your partner may lead to a full-blown affair, a pre-mature purchase of a luxury using credit card debt without informing your honey can also lead to you a full-blown financial infidelity! Even the noble act of helping your relatives and friends through outright giving or lending money without the consent/knowledge of your spouse may eventually result in a full blown pinansyal na pagtataksil!
Here are measures to avoid financial infidelity.
- Have a Conjugal Balance Sheet. Update this regularly with your honey. The principle “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” works not only in treating diseases and protecting public funds through transparency, but also in your financial life as a married couple. Both parties should know where the family money is. (Head on to FQMom.com to know more about Balance Sheet; email FQTeam@FQMom.com if you want a copy of High FQ Balance Sheet Template.)
- Have a Me-fund. Most cases of non-disclosure of financial matters stem from the feeling of loss of autonomy in handling one’s money. It is a bummer to still have to ask your spouse if you can go to the salon, hang out with your friends, etc. Having separate me-funds for each partner where you have full autonomy will solve this problem, provided of course, that you do not do symptom number 4 in the list of 10 signs.
- Ask yourself, “Why don’t I want to disclose this financial matter to my spouse?” Is it because he/she will not allow me to do this? Is it because I feel it is too much? Will he understand me if I say that I want to do this? It could be any reason. So, asking yourself the question “Why don’t I want to disclose this?” will bring you to a clearer understanding about your relationship with your partner. It will allow you to address any issues that may be buried somewhere but need attending to.
- Always be goal-centric when talking about how you spend, save, and invest money. Instead of accusing your partner of being too magastos, or making the wrong saving and investing decisions, it is always better to relate the conversation to your family goals and the ask the question, “Honey, do you think we will be able to achieve our financial goals we set together if we go ahead with this spending/investing?” This way, there is no accusation but just healthy reminders and assessments.
- Have healthy disclosures at the start of your relationship. Someone who gets married without disclosing big debts is no different from someone who gets married without disclosing a previous marriage or having a child. Why? Because previous spouses, children, and debts are all obligations and your new spouse has the right to know all these as you become one.
- Come clean. If you have committed any of the 10 items in the list of financial infidelity, it is better for you to come clean to your spouse and have a conversation about it. It is better than being caught.
- Have shared financial values with your spouse. You can do this by taking the FQ Test (now in English and Tagalog) together and doing FQ exercises to discover your values not just about money but about life in general. This is the best way to be on the same page and goal with your loved one, which consequently makes it easier for you two to avoid financial infidelity in your relationship. (To take the FQ Test, click link. Other values-based exercises are found in Chapters 4 and 5 of FQ Book 1.)
You may also check out this segment in Hapinay Teleradyo where I discussed the topic with Winnie Cordero.
I hope the above discussion helps you uncover, nip in the bud, or remedy any brewing financial infidelity with your partner. Because no matter how loyal and truthful you claim to be to your spouse, but if you’re not financially honest, you can still be called a “taksil!”
Here’s wishing you a peaceful financial relationship with your honey!
- I shall take a leave from my Kumu show every Thursday at 11 am. I will be back in September 2022. For the meantime, we shall be sharing with you useful nuggets of financial wisdom through short videos on our video days – Monday and Thursday found in FQ Mom You tube Channel. Abangan!
- To learn more about your money behavior, get your copy of FQ Books and for your loved ones too. The principles you will learn from here are not only applicable in your financial life but all the other important aspects of your life. https://fqmom.com/bookstore/ .
- How good are you with money? Do you want to know your FQ Score? Take the FQ Test and get hold of your finances now. Scan the QR code or click the link https://fqmom.com/dev-fqtest/app/#/questionnaire
This article is also published in Philstar.
Attribution: Image from Moneyinmatrimony, aarp, freepik, dailymail