5 Ways Couples Commit Financial Infidelity

BY: - 2 Feb '15 | Money

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By Toni Husbands

Webster.com defines infidelity as:

  1. Unfaithfulness to a moral obligation
  2. Marital unfaithfulness or an instance of it

Are you morally obligated to be open and honest with your spouse in all areas – including the finances? Absolutely!

For those who’ve experienced an extreme breach of trust regarding finances or are dealing with an actual disorder, seek professional help from a licensed professional. All others, remember that 80% of divorcing couples cite money fights and problems as a major reason for ending the marriage. Engaging in financial infidelity within your marriage is like playing with fire.

You might be committing financial infidelity if:

  • You keep financial secrets. Once you’ve agreed to marry, all details about your financial history, money mindset, and goals for the future should be fully disclosed. Develop a plan to fix your finances prior to saying, “I Do”. We’ve shared previously how White Board Economics improved one couple’s pre-marriage money woes and set them on a firm financial foundation. Don’t wait until premarital counseling to have this conversation. Schedule a specific date to discuss your current financial status as soon as possible.
  • You hide money or purchases. This is not a cute habit to giggle about with girlfriends (or the guys). Hiding money (lying by omission) is a clear sign that the financial communication in your home is off balance. As a unit, create a budget and allocate cash for spending categories to alleviate the need for secrecy and guesswork. Press pause on purchasing luxuries until you can agree on a budget that works for everyone.
  • You operate as separate units. This is not a debate on joint vs. separate accounts. Regardless of how you structure the financial records, everyone should feel ownership of and have access to all resources generated within the household. Using language such as “his bills” or “her money” does not foster cohesion. Have a series of conversations about future goals and determine how to best reach them together.
  • You violate spending cap agreements. Couples may institute a cap on discretionary spending. If you’ve agreed to cap individual spending, then go over a specific amount, doing so is not only a violation of your spouse’s trust but a clear sign you have little, if any, respect for your husband or wife. Reevaluate spending caps if the amount is too restrictive, but honor any existing agreements and keep your word.
  • You make major financial decisions without spousal input. Move forward as a unit or not at all. Ignoring your spouse’s feedback concerning an investment or major purchase is a surefire way to cause a rift in the relationship. Don’t fear disagreement. Use the divergent viewpoints as an opportunity to prove to your spouse (and yourself) that the proposal is the best fit for the family. If your spouse is not on board, the approach definitely requires more review and possibly an adjustment.

Improve or repair the financial intimacy in your marriage to avoid becoming another divorce statistic.

 BMWK, Are you committing financial infidelity?

Toni Husbands is a financial coach with the Debt Free Divas on a mission to help 1 million families dump consumer debt. My family dumped over $100K in debt and you can too. Twitter: https://twitter.com/debtfreedivas Blog: http://debtfreedivas.org

About the author

BMWK Staff wrote 1259 articles on this blog.

Content and articles from the staff and guest contributors of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com


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4 Things to Do With Your Money If You’re a Financial Overachiever

BY: - 4 Feb '15 | Money

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Financial overachievers have done all of their financial due diligence—paid off their debt, maxed out their retirement contributions, and maintained at least six months of emergency funds. Once they have achieved these goals, they can grow unsure about what money moves to make next.

For the financial overachiever, this state of uncertainty may create a bit of anxiety. Below are a few options for financial overachievers to consider as they move forward in building and protecting their wealth:

Become an angel investor:

By definition, an angel is a high net-worth individual (at least $1 million and makes $200,000 a year, or $300,000 a year jointly with a spouse) who invests his or her own money in start-up companies in exchange for an equity share of the businesses. The typical investments are between $25,000 and $1.5 million.

If you decide to become an angel investor, you make investments in order to make a return on your money, to participate in the entrepreneurial process, or to support the economic growth of start-ups that you believe in. It is recommended that entrepreneurs work with investors who are accredited investors (who meet requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission) and who can add value to the company via high quality mentoring and advice.

A collective of angel investors is called an angel group. In an angel group, you collaborate with other angel investors to collectively invest in entrepreneurial firms. Angel organizations meet regularly to review business proposals, select entrepreneurs to make presentations to the angel group members, and decide whether or not to invest in a particular start-up.

Angel Capital Association (ACA) has an online listing of angel groups that are members in good standing, as well as organizations affiliated with the ACA. Other websites to check out include AngelList, 37 Angels, and MicroVentures.

Set up a fund to give yourself a “raise” every year:

Betterment staff writer Catherine New wrote “How to Invest A Windfall and Earn A Happiness Annuity” to share a key strategy for financial overachievers wanting to leverage a windfall to expand their wallets and as well as their happiness. New writes, “…Research has shown that increases in happiness are linked to continuous upward spending for your lifestyle, not merely achieving a certain level of wealth.” For example, if your spend rate has been $210,000 per year for the past five years, you may end up less happy than someone who has been increasing their spending (and income) every year for the last five years to get to $210,000.

If you are interested in setting up a fund to give yourself a “raise” every year, you will need to set up an investing goal that’s specially earmarked for this purpose rather than commingle it with your other savings. New calls this designation your “happiness annuity.”

With a happiness annuity, the idea is to both grow your money through investing, and make withdrawals in order to give yourself a 1% to 3% raise over your normal spending habits each year. New contends, “Your raise depends on how long you want that windfall to last, and how much risk you take on.”

Found a small private foundation:

If you are a financial achiever and want to change the world, founding a small foundation may be for you. According to the Association of Small Foundations, one reason for starting a private foundation is permanence. A foundation can consistently fund a select cause or group of causes and provide cumulative benefits to the recipients over many years of donations. In order to establish a private foundation, you will have to define your foundation’s purpose and the organization’s activities. After this step, you’ll have to decide how you want to structure your foundation; it could either be a charitable trust or a nonprofit corporation. If you decide to organize as a trust, you’ll need to identify and appoint trustees. On the other hand, if you decide to organize as a corporation, you’ll need to follow the usual steps for establishing a corporation, which includes writing your articles of incorporation and bylaws, naming officers and directors, and filing with the state.

Independent of how you decide to structure your private foundation, you’ll need to apply for an employer identification number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Next, you will need to file organizing documents with the IRS. You’ll need to fill out Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and prepare all of its required supporting documentation. Once the IRS approves your tax-exempt status, you’ll need to file any additional required paperwork to obtain tax-exempt status from your state.

Buy a second home and create passive income:

As a financial overachiever, you may be interested in buying a second home to create another stream of income. Before you put your money on the line, it is a must that you run the numbers and make sure the purchase makes sound financial sense. In addition to thinking about the purchase price, you may have to factor in other expenses that come with owning a piece of property remotely such as hiring a management company and the cost of hazard insurance. On top of these expenses, you will need to have hefty cash reserve around for unexpected repairs or to cover the cost of rent in the event the home has yet to be rented.

BMWK Family what are other ways to be a financial overachiever?

About the author

Kara Stevens wrote 150 articles on this blog.

Kara is a motivational speaker, life coach, and founder of the personal finance and lifestyle blog The Frugal Feminista .


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