Are you being bullied over money?

by Kristina on December 2, 2013 · 2 comments

We had a falling-out, like lovers often will, and to think of how she left that night, it still brings me a chill. And though our separation, has pierced me to the heart, she still lives inside of me, we've never been apart.

“One in 10 Americans classify their spouse or live-in partner as a “financial bully.” – Credit Karma and Harris Interactive

Good morning Dinks.  If you follow me on Twitter you know that I am very anti-bullying, in all aspects of life from school yards to the work place.  Now that I am older and out of school I honestly don’t understand how teachers and parents put up with bullying from kids in school yards.  In my opinion parents are so concerned about being reprimanded for disciplining their kids so they let kids do what they want and that means picking on other kids.  It is sad that adults chose to ignore bullying because adults show better. I really don’t understand how employers let bullying go on in the workplace and I absolutely don’t believe in bullying in a relationship.

Credit Karma, a financial literacy website, partnered with Harris Interactive, a market research firm, to find out just what’s happening with couples when it comes to money.  Here’s what they found:

You don’t have to be a bully to get your point across

There may always be one spouse who is more dominant in certain aspects of the relationship; one spouse may be better at managing the finances than the other spouse, but is that a reason for bullying? Absolutely not.  There is a way for people to state their opinions and get their message across without leaving one spouse feeling defeated or inferior.

If you prefer to manage the money, set the budget and pay the bills in your relationship then just tell your spouse; don’t bully them into it.

You may not even know you are a bully

Bullying isn’t just about name calling.  If you speak less than admirably to your spouse about their financial habits, debt payments and lack of savings then you may be bullying your spouse…and not even know it.

Credit Karma asked victims about the tactics their financial bully uses to intimidate or control them:

·        Makes me feel guilty for my shopping habits: 37 percent

·        Limits my monthly spending: 34 percent

·        Makes me show receipts for all purchases: 20 percent

·        Gives me an allowance / limits my spending: 18 percent

·        Keeps me from having credit cards: 17 percent

·        Doesn’t let me go shopping by myself: 11 percent

·        Forces me to use coupons: 8 percent

 If your spouse stays with you because of the money…

Very often if one spouse is controlling the money in the relationship they are also controlling the other person in the relationship – and that is really sad.  We hear that people stay together for the sake of their kids (as a child of divorce I can tell you this is not good for the kids) but sometimes people also stay together for the money.  Credit Karma reports that 22 percent of married couples ages 18 to 34 said they would get a divorce “if money were no object.”

 What to do if you are a bully or are being bullied

To learn more about financial bullying, visit CreditKarma. Consumers can take a quiz to determine if their partner exhibits the qualities of a financial bully, and receive relationship advice and financial tips.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brock @cleverdude December 2, 2013 at 7:23 am

Circumstances can always be interpreted in multiple ways….but many of the things listed above could also just be flat out good handling of finances. If you’re on a budget….wouldn’t you need to limit spending to be inline with the funds available? If you’re tracking all your spending, wouldn’t you need to see receipts? Just some examples….

2 Jen @ Frugal Rules December 3, 2013 at 3:50 am

I did not realize it then being so young but years after the union went kaput and maturity has set in, I now know that what was stated above was one of the major reasons. Only now did I learn that there was a name for it – financial bullying. Sigh!

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