Valentine, Jill Schlesinger, John Dolman discussed on WTOP 24 Hour News


You didn't know, is Valentine's Day, and that means some couples might be apologizing for a wandering eye or worse. While others are trying to repair the damage, from what you can describe as financial infidelity these days, a survey out to this week from bankrate finds that 23% of all Americans in relationships are keeping a money related secret from their significant other. And 39% have been financially unfaithful. That means they have a secret credit card or checking account, say, or even worse, some debt or spending that they're keeping secret. CBS News business analyst Jill schlesinger talked with our John dolman about this and what you can do. I am so sorry to bring this up the day before Valentine's Day. So I'm going to apologize, but there is a larger and lofty goal here. Look, what brings us up is a lot of different things. A lot of people feel out of control and different aspects of their lives, and they use money to kind of express that. And sometimes that out of control part can be financially related, but it can be other things too. And you know what is really weird about money is that it can be so emotional, meaning that listen, we get so emotional about so many things and money is just one of those things and we express a lot of our emotions around money because money's tangible. So here is my hope for today the day before Valentine's Day is that you kind of look at this situation and say, okay, this is like anything else in life. We've got to communicate. And how do we create a communication system around money that's not fraught? And the way you do that is you set aside some time. Don't do it tomorrow night. But you set aside some time as a couple to discuss where you are financially and if you've never done this, it just means like, well, let's have a list of what we own. Let's have a list of what we owe. And let's look at our spending. And let's kind of fess up. We don't have to go crazy. You don't have to judge it in that moment. You can just actually have some ground rules. We just tracking the information. And that way we can make better decisions going forward. Now, these sorts of conversations can be fraught with emotion and anger and all the distrust that we've been talking about. Is this something that a couples therapists can help you out with or should you go see a financial planner? How do you sort of get that extra help that you might need? Well, I think if it's every time you try to sit down, you just can't do it. There's two ways to approach it. One is just say, let me go to a certified financial planner or a CPA who does financial planning, who can really be almost like the objective third party. Who can really mirror back to you and say, hey, look, you say you want to send your kids to college, you say you want to retire. This is what the game plan looks like. Can you both sign on to it? And sometimes it is a lot easier when there's a third party there. But if it's really just fighting about control and issues and it devolves into something very different than I do think a therapist can actually be helpful to you as a couple. I mean, when it comes to your money, the problem that we have is that as a couple, you have many joint responsibilities. But a lot of us come into relationships later in life and we want to maintain some separateness. And that's fine. I'm not saying you shouldn't have a separate account. All I'm saying is that you both need to be on the same page so that the separateness is serving something, but also the stuff that you have together is also serving something. And again, communication is key. It's very boring

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