How Common is Financial Infidelity

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Partial Transcript

[The following is a partial transcript of this episode of The Scott Alan Turner Show. Listen to the full episode to hear this story, listener questions, money hacks, and inspiring stories of people that are changing their financial lives. Subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes or Google Play]

In This Episode

  • Car loan defaults are at an all time high and it’s a bad situation
  • Why do some people get so much more done than others?
  • Well Where Did My Money Go is paying out fines. Again.
  • Millionaire Success Story – Guy, UK shares how he did it in 15 years.

Listener questions:

  • Advice on the plan to pay off my debts (Jessica, Alabama)
  • What if I can’t get into a specific investment because of the minimums (Anthony)
  • I’ve paid off $19,000 of student loan debt (Rory)
  • I’m a single mom with student loans and limited time (Lynn)
  • Whose advice should I listen to for guidance (Shaun)


Jennifer wrote into the Scott Alan Turner show a couple weeks ago. She said “I am 68 years old and $100,000 in debt. My husband doesn’t know. I can no longer work because of an illness.”

According to one in five people keep a secret financial life from a partner. Last time on the show we discussed the challenges of having a conversation about money.

From Wikipedia:

Financial infidelity is the secretive act of spending money, possessing credit and credit cards, holding secret accounts or stashes of money, borrowing money, or otherwise incurring debt unknown or unwilling to one’s spouse, partner, or significant other.

A double life is a troubled life.

Keeping a money secret is a different problem. It’s a bigger problem. It can lead to bigger financial disasters.

If you consider why, it makes sense. People judge.

  • If a person says they went through a bankruptcy. What will people think?
  • If a person has $100,000 in student loans. What is that person at the bar going to think?
  • If a person has $30,000 in credit card debt. What might a partner or potential partner think?

Oh, if I had shared with Katie all the money moron moments that I went through before I proposed. She might have thought, “Well he is pretty cute. Other than the hair. But what’s going on up there between the ears?” It’s a good thing to have those talks. One of our core values around here is non judgyeness. Oh, you’ve been bad with money? Come on in friend! We’ve got room for you in the band. We’re moneyacs. Not perfect acts.

In the study, one in three people thought a secret credit card, secret checking account, secret savings account was worse than cheating.

Have a money conversation before marriage. It’s better to clear the air before saying ‘I do’ than airing out the dirty laundry later. Wouldn’t you want to be with someone that wants all of you? The good stuff. The great stuff. The broken stuff. Say a person leaves all their socks lying around the house. Somebody is going to figure that out sooner or later. Stop pretending to be neat. Then after the honeymoon they start leaving socks on the kitchen table. “Surprise honey! I’m really not a very neat person.”

What if a person is married and living a double life? Remember – a double life is a troubled life. Someone can hide for a long time. But it’s very hard to hide the truth forever. Come clean. That other person cares. They’re married. There is love there.

It’s not Project Runway. A loving partner isn’t going to kick you off the journey for making an ugly dress.

And if someone is on the receiving end of this news, please, show some grace. We’re all a bunch of screw-ups sometimes. Stumbling along on our journey. My 5-year old son spilled his entire glass of milk on the floor last week. Again. Guess what I did yesterday. Spilled my hot tea all over myself and the floor when I took it out of the microwave. It’s harder to get mad at a 5-year old when I haven’t perfected the fine art of being perfect yet.

Without money secrets

  • You can reach your goals together faster.
  • You can build a stronger relationship together.
  • You can work towards financial security together and peace of mind.

When people get married, they marry the debts, the credit scores, and the financial baggage too. You see what takes care of that is talking and having a plan. People wouldn’t hide they have kids. They wouldn’t hide they were planning to move to Mars at the first chance possible. They wouldn’t hide they own 18 cats.

“18 cats, you’re that crazy cat person! I’m outta here.”

Good riddance. We need someone that wants us and the cats. And the dogs. And the debts.

I know if you’re heir to something like the Hilton hotel empire, that I’d probably hide too. I’d want to marry someone who wants me. Not someone who’s thinking about free hotel rooms everywhere we travel. Go watch the movie Crazy Rich Asians. See what I’m talking about.

Everyone’s seen those Clydesdale commercials during the Super Bowl. You see, one Clydesdale horse pulling a wagon load of Budweiser can pull about 200 cases. Two Clydesdale horses on opposite ends of a wagon can’t pull anything. They’re facing opposite directions. But hook up the two horses on the front, they can pull 10,000 cases of Budweiser. They work together in harmony. Do they run into mud? Yes. Do the wagon wheels get stuck sometimes? Yes. Do they get irritated with one another sometimes when their tails whack each other? Probably. But they also make the delivery. Then it’s a party. You know how to party.

Look, it’s a good thing to come clean. Anyone that has a money secret, will you have a chat? Visit a counselor? Get some advice? Give your finances a break, come clean.


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