Are you committing financial infidelity?
A lot of you are by hiding money or a credit card, according to a new survey from CreditCards.com just in time for Valentine’s Day. About 1 in 20 people admitted to concealing a credit card or bank account from a spouse, partner or significant other.
If you apply that to the U.S. population, that’s millions of people with money secrets, CreditCards.com says.
Interestingly, the survey found that baby boomers (11 percent) are nearly four times as likely as millennials (3 percent) to keep an account hidden.
“Keeping secrets in your relationships is never a good idea,” said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com. “Like any indiscretion, what starts out small tends to build. Spending $25 without consulting your partner may seem incidental, but when those purchases become more frequent or if the amount grows, it can wreak havoc on your accounts and your budget.”
Some additional results from the survey:
— Twenty-eight percent of respondents have admitted to spending $500 or more without consulting their partner.
— Thirty-three percent of respondents think it is fine for their significant other to spend $500 or more without asking.
I don’t believe in any financial secrets when you are married. Even if you are going to keep separate bank accounts, spouses should still be open and honest about all things financial.
Another survey by Gobankrates.com found that financial infidelity is a relationship deal-breaker. If a partner lies about money, that’s a valid reason to split up, according to 46 percent of men and 43 percent of women who said money had been one reason they ended a relationship.
If you want financial peace in your relationship follow these “house rules.”
Take this couples and money quiz from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.
I took the test. Perfect score, although I didn’t agree with some of the “right” answers. Still, the quiz can be a great conversation starter for a number of topics including spending, paying off debt and saving for retirement.
“Money is a common cause of conflict in relationships and, sadly, the reason that many couples split up,” writes Lisa Gerstner, a Kiplinger contributing editor. “But money doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your love life. With the right attitude, even financially incompatible couples can live happily ever after.”
Color Money question of the week
Do you think it’s okay to keep financial secrets from your spouse or significant other? Actually, I have a few more questions.
— Why do you think the percentage of people keeping secrets was higher for baby boomers?
— Have you ever experienced financial infidelity, and if so, how did that make you fee?
Send your comments to email@example.com. In the subject line, put “Love and Money.” And, so that I don’t cause any more conflict, it’s okay if you want to use just your first name. But please include your city and state.
Live chat today
Join me for a live discussion about financial infidelity. I’ll also be available to answer your general personal finance questions.
To participate in the chat click this link.
Did a Trump tweet drives a stock up and then down?
We are all told to be careful about what we post on social media.
Apparently President Trump thinks he’s exempt from such advice. It appears that his tweets are moving stock prices.
The most recent example: Nordstrom broke the curse of the Trump tweet
Trump knocked the retailer for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s clothing line. The stock dipped. Nordstrom said its decision was based on the brand’s poor performance.
Trump tweeted from his personal account the following: “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”
That tweet was then retweeted from the official White House government @POTUS account.
And after trending down, the stock rebounded — finally closing up by 4 percent.
“Nobody knows exactly why stock prices go up or down on any given day,” The Washington Post’s Danielle Paquette wrote. “And perhaps Nordstrom will take a slide later. It’s unclear how social media, particularly partisan social media, could influence investors.”
Other companies that have come under fire from a Trump tweet saw stock prices drop.
New York Times columnist and CNBC Squawk Box co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin reported on an analysis from the highly influential hedge fund manager Seth A. Klarman, who runs Baupost Group. In a private letter to investors, Klarman wrote: “The big picture for investors is this: Trump is high volatility, and investors generally abhor volatility and shun uncertainty. Not only is Trump shockingly unpredictable, he’s apparently deliberately so; he says it’s part of his plan.”
What does this all mean for your money?
You’ve got to have a long-term plan that doesn’t involve investing or panicking based on what Trump is tweeting.
Pension plans in peril
Last week, in light of news about cuts to some pension plans I asked you: Are you scared your pension may get cut in the future?
Steve Dabrowski from Holland, Mich.: “Regarding pensions across the country — all those plans were developed by the best and brightest financial minds with the assumption of growth projections that only went up. Reality has a different plan.”
Caryl from New York wrote that her husband’s Teamsters’ pension has been drastically cut. His pension went $2,390 month to $1,560. There’s another cut this month bringing it down to $906. “We are not sure what to expect next. This has changed our financial future completely. He worked very hard and deserves what he was promised — a lifetime pension.”
Joe, a teacher in New Jersey, is worried all his promised pension won’t be there when he retires, writing, “With the amount I have already vested in pension and the amount they are taking out [for benefits] there is no money to invest. It’s too late in the game to start saving for retirement. The pension payments from day one were our savings.”
Julia from Virginia: “I’m a retired federal employee under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) program and I am afraid that Trump and his ilk will cut existing pensions, not just reduce pension benefits for the new hires.”
Tom Wahl of Monument, Colo.: “My wife is retired Air Force and I’m not afraid that her pension will be cut. I am alarmed though that the government is starting to chip away at the military pension program and integrate it with a 401(k)-style program, under the argument that this is what the civilian sector offers. The decision makers don’t realize that a military career (along with police and firefighters) is unlike a typical job. The pay is less. There are lifestyle constrictions, and one’s life can be on the line. Due to these factors, a 20-year pension plan helps attract employees.”
And although Wahl isn’t worried about his own situation, he is concerned about others, writing, “How is a 70 year old supposed to make up a 20 percent cut? And poor retirees will be a drain on our economy and social culture. These cuts to promised benefits are sad and a terrible blow to the American ideal.”
Color of Money columns this week
Even if you’re dying to get your tax refund, don’t get an advance
Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1301 K St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to washingtonpost.com/business.