No one truly enjoys having a conversation about their finances with their significant other. Whether you are the breadwinner in the relationship or the one that spends the least amount, money is still hard to talk about. Yet, it is such a meaningful conversation to have with your partner; you can learn so much about their goals and dreams. If you don’t have the discussion together, you or your partner could end up committing financial infidelity. Lying about money in your relationship can turn any happy couple into an unhappy one.

Why Does It Matter?

Financial infidelity is the act of lying to your partner about joint finances that you both share. This can include hiding accounts or spending money without your partner’s permission. An example of this is going on a spending spree for clothing without your partner knowing. This doesn’t have to be a significant amount of money in one sitting either. You can be committing this act every month when you decide to buy watches or purses when you told your partner that you would stop.

An act like either example is a warning sign that there could be financial trouble in the future. While it may seem like no big deal to spend $20-$30 dollars a month on movies or other frivolous items, the fact remains that you aren’t honest with your partner and when they learn of what you are doing it will cause a rift. Be open to your partner about your spending habits and what standards should be followed. While it can be difficult to curb back some of your spending, the matter of the fact is that they could be following the rules while you are breaking them and that isn’t fair.

How Can You Avoid This?

The best way to avoid this is to have a conversation about your finances with your significant other. It can be done over dinner or as a scheduled time once a month. The more you talk about your finances, the better the outcome. You can compare your income to the total sum of expenses that you both have and agree on a budget for extra activities. When you have open conversations about what is happening in your lives and what you want to do, agreements can be made to allocate a certain amount of money to those type of expenses. Setting some sort of budget together will help both of you voice your concerns and also help each party understand where the money gets placed. That way neither party will get upset when they get turned away from purchasing something they wanted.

Look to create financial goals that both of you can work toward. Do both of you want to pay off your debt or start a college fund? Then start talking about those goals now and start saving. When you have a common goal, you are working hand-in-hand with your partner.

Finances are never easy or fun to talk about, but by having these conversations now, you can prepare your family for success. Don’t leave your partner in the dark when it comes to your spending habits;  share your knowledge so that you both can be financially stable.

This piece was originally posted on MichaelRalby.com