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6 Signs of Financial Bullying and How to Deal With It


What are the signs that your spouse is a financial bully, and how can you deal with it? Have you ever felt intimidated by your spouse or significant other when discussing finances? Financial bullying isn't normal if you are married or live with your partner. It is a form of control that makes maintaining a healthy relationship challenging. I've asked a few individuals to help you identify and address the signs of financial bullying. From excess monitoring of spending to being unable to access your finances, they've provided their best tips to identify and address financial bullying.


Signs that You are Dealing with Financial Bullying


Excess Monitoring of Spending


If your spouse is excessively monitoring your spending or trying to control your access to money or financial resources, it can signify that they are trying to exert power and control over you and your financial well-being. This behavior can be emotionally abusive and severely affect your financial independence and autonomy.


To deal with that, try to have open and honest conversations with your spouse about your financial situation and any concerns you may have. It's important to set clear boundaries and communicate your needs and preferences. Also, seek support. Having a trusted friend or family member you can talk to about your situation is important. Consider seeking support from a financial planner, therapist, or counselor who can help you navigate the situation and develop strategies for protecting your financial well-being.


Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager, UK Passport Photo


Natalia Brzezinska pull out quote

When You Are Unable to Review and Access Your Finances


If you cannot review parts of your finances and need reasoning to gain access to it, then you're probably dealing with a financial bully. There are different levels of this, but any form of having your spouse keep you from your finances is a form of financial bullying.


If you have all the passwords to the information, you should be able to access the accounts, and you shouldn't have to ask permission to buy something or be given "an allowance." Any form of this might not be okay and could put you in a difficult situation.


If it makes you feel disrespected or bullied, then you should do something about it and make a change.


Shaun Connell, Founder and CEO, Credit Building Tips


Asking for Receipts for All Purchases


Asking for receipts for all purchases is one of the most alarming signs that your spouse is a financial bully. In a relationship, disagreements about spending are natural and unavoidable at times. It may result from several reasons, including your different financial family backgrounds, spending habits, or simply your approach to life. Still, the situation when your spouse tightly monitors all your purchases and makes you show the receipts is something way worse. And it becomes a matter of control.

I believe that in a relationship, there is no place for bullying of any kind. Home should be where we feel accepted, loved, and safe. Living with a financial bully takes your mental peace away. Being in a controlling relationship leads nowhere good, trust me. It's extremely toxic and usually gets even worse over time. If an honest conversation with your spouse and/or a couple's therapy doesn't help, make sure you are (or can be) financially independent and consider your options.


Agata Szczepanek, Community Manager, LiveCareer



If Your Spouse Blames You for Going Over Budget


This is among the typical warning signs of a financial bully. If you discover that your partner or spouse consistently exceeds the monthly budget or accuses you of overspending, this person may be acting as a financial bully in your life. In contrast, a financial bully typically comes from a low-income home and is concerned about not having enough money to support themselves.


Perhaps your partner has never experienced joy in life and is now willing to spend money to live a nice lifestyle. If so, you should act as an open friend to comprehend their emotions. Tell your partner that keeping a balance in life can only lead to happiness rather than passing judgment.


Janie Doyle, Marketing Director, Scvehiclehire


Pressures to Make Financial Decisions You Don't Want


One sign that your spouse is a financial bully is if they often pressure you to make financial decisions that you don't agree with or make you uncomfortable. This can include pressuring you to take on more debt or to make large purchases that you don't feel are necessary. If your spouse is also secretive about money and keeps you from seeing how much money is coming in or going out, this is another sign of financial bullying.


The best tip for dealing with financial bullying from a spouse is to set clear boundaries for your finances. Have an open and honest conversation with your spouse about money, and make sure that both of you are comfortable with any financial decisions that are made. It is also important to be assertive and speak up if your spouse is trying to take advantage of you financially. Finally, if the situation continues, it may be time to seek help from a financial advisor or to consider legal advice.


Adam Garfield, Marketing Director, Hairbro


Guilt Over Every Purchase


When a spouse questions or guilts an individual for every purchase they make, regardless of the cost, it is a clear sign of financial bullying. A friend I had in college went through this exact situation, wherein his fiancé would reprimand him even for just buying a $2 soda.


The best way to deal with this is to sit down with the spouse and be honest about how their behavior impacts the relationship. If they will not listen, take careful steps to safeguard your finances, and do not be afraid to ask friends or a counselor for further advice.


Annu Daniel, CEO, Elohim Company


If you feel like you or someone you know is being abused financially, it's essential to learn how to get help.

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