Is Your Spouse Financially Cheating On You?

Media / Blog

Is Your Spouse Financially Cheating On You?


5 Fees Eating Away At Your Wallet

October 06, 2015

Sometimes you might wonder if your spouse is signing away on documents that you will never be aware of down the road. Or, maybe you are concerned that there is some secret stash of money you didn't know about because it wasn't included in the family net worth. At all times in our lives, we will inevitably have little whispers in your ear about whether or not there is cheating going on in our relationships. Since this is a personal finance column, I'm really talking about financial cheating. How can you tell if your spouse is financially cheating on you?

  1. Swap Credit Reports - What happens in this situation? You think everything is going well in your family finances and then all of sudden you find out that your spouse has racked up $20,000 of credit card charges. How mad would that make you? What would that do to your relationship? It won't make sense for most families to have all joint credit cards and certainly there needs to be some level of trust in any relationship for it to work. However, if you swap credit reports once per year you can be more proactive than reactive to see what is going on with credit card activity.
  2. Unusual Levels Of Cash - If you have a joint account, you can keep pretty good track of ATM withdrawals as they will be listed on the statements. But, if you keep separate accounts where you don't have a line of sight then you might look for unusual levels of cash activity. This doesn't necessarily mean that if your spouse is carrying a wad of 100 dollar bills that they are automatically guilty, but it is something to watch for over a sustained period of time.
  3. The Tax Return - People can lie. People can lie on tax returns. However, whatever is on the tax return when it is reported can tell a story of where money and income are being run through the household. Schedule B on your tax return will show all of the reported interest income and dividends and schedule D on the tax return will show all of the capital gains and losses from taxable investment accounts. You can also see schedules for certain business expenses if your spouse is an independent contractor and files schedule C.
  4. Inspect What You Expect - In some households, one of you may be the technical 'CFO' of the family. If you aren't the CFO, do you have a yearly review of what's going on with the family finances? Far too often, one spouse will make a ton of the investment and financial decisions without the other spouse having a real clear picture of what the short and long term impact will be for your family. You must inspect what is going on even if you aren't an expert on financial matters.
  5. You Never Discuss Money - One of my final warning signs is if your spouse gets extremely angry or nasty every time you want to talk about money. It seems like a simple statement, but you might chalk it up to a bad day at work or other life stress and not about money. If this is a routine behavior to redirect to another topic, you may want to get some professional help.

None of us want to believe that our partner or our spouse may be cheating on us, especially when it comes to money. Use these five tips to help you get to the bottom of what is happening with your money.


5 Ways To Get A Great Deal On Leasing A Car

About the author

Ted Jenkin

Ted Jenkin

CEO and co-Founder


My friends and family all think I'm a workaholic, but I say I'm just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice. Investor Disclosures:

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation.

Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

Sign Up

Sign up for our exclusive Sunday Paper with a weekly market commentary, insightful personal finance blogs, and life changing education guides.

Email sign up

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

This site is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives of Kestra IS and Investment Advisor Representatives of Kestra AS may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Not all products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed. For additional information, please contact Kestra IS Compliance Department at 844-553-7872.

PLEASE NOTE: The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the web sites provided here, you are leaving this web site. Kestra IS and Kestra AS makes no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these web sites. Nor is Kestra IS and Kestra AS liable for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or your use of third-party technologies, web sites, information and programs made available through this web site. When you access one of these web sites, you are leaving our web site and assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the web sites you are linking to.