10 Sneaky Signs He'S Not Being Honest About Money
1. He doesn't want to talk about money—ever. If you try to discuss your finances and he changes the subject, he could be hiding something. To get your man to open up, try providing an incentive. Sounds silly, but "one of my patients does the money talk with her guy in sexy underwear and then the couple makes love after. He now looks forward to those chats," says New York City psychotherapist Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, author of Financial Infidelity: Seven Steps to Conquering the Number One Relationship Wrecker.
2. He has a secret account. Check the mail regularly, since there's usually a paper trail (unless he's super sneaky and receiving notices at his office, a P.O. box, a friend's house or via email). "Most interest-accruing investment and bank accounts also show up in your taxes," says Susan Bradley, a certified financial planner and founder of the Sudden Money Institute in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. So don't leave the taxes solely to him each year. Read everything thoroughly, and hire a financial advisor to translate information you don't understand.
3. He's opening new credit cards, extending limits or taking out loans. He could be doing these through a joint account or in his name only, but the result could be a low credit score. And that may make it harder to get a mortgage, get new credit cards, move into an apartment or even snag certain jobs. Pull your credit reports at the same time at least once a year and look at both of them together, suggests financial psychologist Bradley Klontz, author of Mind Over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health. Get a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com once per year and free credit scores from CreditKarma.com.
4. He's always got a story. Perhaps your husband told you that your bank account was hacked, he got robbed or he lost his wallet. Any of these could happen, but if he's constantly issuing excuses for dwindling savings, see if there's evidence he really is lying. If, for instance, he claims an account was hacked, call customer service for verification. Or if he said that he lost his wallet at a basketball game with his friend, casually bring it up to his pal to see if he noticed. "Somebody who always has a story isn't a reliable financial partner," says Bradley.
5. He's in serious debt. Maybe he let student loan interest accumulate or he's got thousands in credit card debt—and he never told you. You're likely to notice this when you try to buy, say, a car or a house together because debt impacts his credit and, therefore, your ability to get a loan—and those realizations may come as a huge shock. If he hasn't come clean about how much he owes and to whom, "it makes you wonder, 'What else is he lying about?'" points out Bradley.
6. He didn't pay your joint taxes. "One day, she just got a letter from the IRS," says Dr. Weil of one of her female patients. This can lead to a host of late penalties, so it's yet another reason to watch the mailbox and insert yourself into the process during tax season. If it happens, don't berate your husband, since that won't solve the problem. Instead, crunch numbers together to show him what he's doing to your finances. Klontz recommends also asking him, "What can I do to make this a safer place for you to be honest about your money habits?"
7. He's betting big bucks. Gambling doesn't always happen at casinos. You probably already know if he's playing fantasy baseball, weekly poker games or golf with buddies, but have you ever asked if he bets on those games—and if so, how much? There are even opportunities to gamble online, which he could easily do behind your back. "Throwing $20 into the occasional pool isn't a big deal. But if the betting becomes habitual or he's spending a lot and not telling you, then it's worth discussing," says Bradley.
8. He buys big-ticket items. Dr.Weil has seen some of her wealthier male patients spend thousands on second homes, cars, helicopters and vacations without first checking with their wives. One of them justified it by saying, "I deserve it. Life is short." Other guys simply shell out for tools, sports equipment, clothing or electronic gadgets. If you notice an expensive purchase, propose an agreement (if you haven't already) like the one Klontz has with his wife: "If we want to buy something over $100, we discuss it first," he says.
9. Your insurance has lapsed. This can happen with all types of insurance, including health, dental, homeowners', disability and life, explains Dr. Weil. But unless you're regularly looking at your bills and bank accounts, you might not discover you don't have health or dental insurance until you're slapped with an unusually high doctor's bill. That's why it's key to sit down with your partner at least monthly to discuss your financial goals and the money that's coming in and going out. When you're in the loop, it's easier to spot inconsistencies.
10. You're excluded from meetings with the financial advisor. Let's say you call your financial advisor and he says, "By the way, it was a pleasure seeing your husband last week." Yet your partner never mentioned it. "It's a sign he doesn't want you to know something. You need to insist on being part of the meetings," urges Klontz. It's morbid, but use this to strengthen your argument: "Odds are, he'll die before you do, and you're probably going to have to be in charge of the finances at some point." So get involved now.
See also: The Most Important Money Conversation to Have