14.02.19 | Financial infidelity.

By Jessica Sier 14 February 2019 2 min read

The nice thing about love is how your bud generally accepts you for exactly who you are.

I mean, this takes time to reveal, don’t get me wrong. We rarely jump into relationships with our freak flags flying or even prepared to admit how much we actually despise their beloved cricket or yoga or whatever.

But, from my experience (and a quick whip around the Spaceship office), when you tick over from glamorous flirt to lovable, powerful companion, we realise our bud likes us, not despite our flaws, but really because of them.


And now for something completely different.

It’s really easy to lie to your bud about your finances.

I’m not sure how our society became like this, but talking openly about our money seems really crass and awkward. We quietly applaud our friends when they get pay rises, we pay for dinners we can’t afford and we very, very rarely admit to struggling with debt.

It’s often perceived as a deep weakness or even a reflection of our intelligence if we haven’t managed to get our houses completely in order. Despite there not being a clear focus on financial education in schools. (Which is something we bang on a lot about around here.)

So when it spills over into our real lives, it’s not hard to see why you might drift towards keeping quiet about your $15,000 credit card debt or how much you might spend shopping online, especially when you’re positioning yourself as a mega-foxy-cool person.

Having said that, at Spaceship we believe having your own money is a seriously empowering tool and how you put together your life is really your business.

And we really, truly believe you can manage your own stuff and steer your own ship.

But we also believe one component to achieving financial freedom and true wealth, involves a level of transparency and honesty. We believe that is just as empowering a tool as independence.

And given we’re all relationship experts over here at Spaceship, we reckon that’s an important component to love!

Financial infidelity manifests in many different ways. Sometimes you go into a relationship with a financial secret (like uncomfortable debt) and it becomes harder to reveal as time goes on.

You might balloon several credit cards over time and are too ashamed to admit it.

You might have hidden investments or may be trying to outperform your partner.  

You might be helping out a friend or family member your partner mightn’t approve of.

And the reverse is true. These are some of the symptoms if you’re trying to spot financial infidelity in your partner:
●      Illogical spending patterns or consistent withdrawal of small amounts;

●      Excessive shopping or odd new purchases that might be otherwise unaffordable;

●      High brokerage statements (frequent trading rarely results in profits);

●      Moodiness, particularly in those who are gambling;

●      Sudden changes in compensation; and

●      Newly opened accounts.

Clearing the air is the first step to bringing any financial infidelity back under control. It takes courage, openness and honesty to do that, and more than a little trust in your partner. But after that, building a plan to sort your situation out will be a team effort.

And from then on, meet regularly to have open, frank conversations about how you both are going.

Remember, they love your freaky flag in a whole host of other ways! Be brave and let them know you’re struggling!

And if you suspect your partner might be struggling, let them know you want to hoist their freaky flag higher and support them!

Words by
Jessica Sier Right Chevron

Jessica Sier is a financial journalist. Prior to that she led content at Spaceship and was a reporter at the AFR where she discovered that breaking down financial jargon was a public good.

14.02.19 | Financial infidelity.