I was recently in a women’s clothes store in my home town. As I was trying on a top I overheard a conversation between a woman who was checking out and the store owner. I happen to know that the shopper is a successful professional. Here’s how it went (the names are changed to protect this woman’s marriage…)
Shopper: Oh, I’m so sorry, Lisa, but I need to pay cash for this sweater and I’m a little short. I’ll run over to the ATM at Walgreen’s. I’ve learned after 26 years of marriage that it’s better if my husband doesn’t know what I spend money on so I don’t want to charge it or write a check.
Store-owner: I completely understand, Barb. Women do this all the time here.
Seriously?! What’s this about?
Is it that these women don’t truly spend money on things they value and then are embarrassed to talk to their spouse or partner about it? Is it that they are spending money instead of working toward some joint goal? Is it that they feel guilty that their husband is earning money and they are spending it? (Clearly not the issue for the woman that I eavesdropped on.)
What I would want to ask this woman is, “How would you feel if your husband was doing this to you?”
What we put out into the world is what we get back. Secrets create separation. From a financial standpoint, a marriage is like a business partnership. A healthy money relationship includes creating a vision for your financial futures, building a solid and healthy plan, as well as sharing information. If you are hiding financial issues from your spouse you are creating big cracks in your financial foundation.
Have a conversation.
I’m not suggesting that every penny spent must be reported and justified to your partner. Instead, have money allocated each month for each of you to spend as you please. Any extraordinary expenses over a certain dollar amount (at a level which you both decide) should be discussed.
Quit hiding shopping bags in your trunk or the back of your closet! Stand in your power around money and make purchases you feel great about!