Happy Friday, lovers! You’ve probably seen this article/quiz floating around the interwebs by now (I’m a bit slow, what can I say), but in the off chances you haven’t I thought it made for some good stuff to think about over the weekend. And, with life in general for that matter.
I hadn’t heard of *financial* bullying, per se, until I read this article over at U.S. News & World Report, and I gotta admit is sounds horrible. And I can only imagine it’s even harder to deal with when it involves someone close to you :(
Here’s the gist of financial bullying, according to the article:
Financial bullying occurs in a committed relationship when one partner uses his or her power or influence to control the other financially.
These bullies use the following tactics:
- Making his or her partner feel guilty about purchases
- Limiting monthly spending
- Making his or her partner show receipts for all purchases
- Keeping his or her partner from having credit cards
- Not letting his or her partner go shopping alone
BLEH! Feels more like financial prison to me. Not good…
I then came across this “financial bullying quiz” over at Credit Karma, so I decided to take it myself to see how healthy (or not) our household is when it comes to managing our money together. And it was a pretty fast quiz to take too – took all of 68 seconds :) It’s only 7 questions long, and then at the end it spits out your results. Here was mine:
But look at all those percentages there :( Only a little over half work well together with money!! Ick!! If you can’t read that tiny print up there, here’s the breakdown:
- 62% of partners seem to communicate well about their finances
- 16% may need to talk about their finances
- 14% might be somewhat controlling
- 8% could be dealing with a financial bully
That means that almost 1 out of every 10 of you reading this right now could be currently bullied :( Which equates to about 400 people with my given stats these days – ouch. But I’m so glad you’re here reading this right now and working on solutions! We got your back, baby! :)
And if it helps, here are a few tips from that same article on ways to help get you out of that 8% area:
- If your communication needs to get back on track … Keep the lines of communication open, and get comfortable with expressing any concerns you might have to your partner. Sit down with your partner, and re-evaluate how you’re handling money as a couple. Agree to check in on your finances together once a month. Having a regular conversation can help stifle controlling tendencies before they get too serious.
- If you partner seems somewhat controlling … Start with a simple financial monitoring tool such as Mint, Credit Karma or LearnVest. Being informed about your own finances will help you take back some of the control you may have lost. If your partner is willing, you also might consider couples’ therapy. You can use the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy’s therapist locator to find a professional near you.
- If you think you’re dealing with a financial bully … It’s important to address issues as soon as possible. If your partner is unwilling to change his or her ways, take steps to protect yourself and your finances. Talk with someone you trust, like a friend or family member, or consider getting professional guidance. Be prepared to take some serious steps to stop financial bullying, such as changing the PINs or passwords on your financial accounts or putting a fraud alert on your credit.
Basically, it all comes down to communication and both partners being open to change. Something a lot easier to think about/say, than do unfortunately. BUT, *knowing* where you stand is step #1, just like with anything in life and money. So once you grasp that, it’s upward and onward to laying down those tracks for a better future! And we SO HOPE you get there!
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to share them in the comments below. It’s a totally hate-free zone here, and I’m sure others would love to chime in and offer some guidance (not to mention those in the same boat who’d be glad to see their questions being asked too). Just know that you’re not alone though, and there’s plenty of people who love you and want to help out :)
Have a blessed weekend, everybody. And if you’re currently one of the 62% bully-free, be sure to count your blessings.
[Photo cred: Comcast Washington State]