Holiday spending harmony in relationships - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Holiday spending harmony in relationships

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(KYTX/CNN) - There is often nothing harmonious about holiday spending. After all, for many Americans, it is the season of overspending- something that can really strain a relationship.

Relationship experts call it "financial infidelity" when one spouse is not honest about finances. They say the holiday season makes us all especially vulnerable to a wandering wallet or credit card.

There's nothing merry about keeping overspending hidden from your spouse. And, there's nothing that puts a strain on relationships more than disagreements about money.  Just ask Becky Derrington.

"Buying for all the kids, making sure everybody has their equal share..."  
So, relationship experts say it's important to have a united financial plan during the holidays. That way,, one spouse doesn't stray financially and feel the need to overspend.

"I'm an impulsive buyer," says Derrington. "So, I see something and it may not be on the list, but if it's cute, I get it."

Another rule to follow, talk early- no surprise there.  Make a game plan before shopping and set limits.

"I think talking about anything before is better than talking about it after. That usually makes things go smoother."

Michele Shieldes says that's been a big help in keeping holiday spending harmony in her marriage.

"We just decide before we start shopping what our budget is going to be and who we need to shop for and it hasn't been an issue."

Experts also say you should tackle your problems.  Many times there is an underlying issue that is leading to overspending. Try to identify that.

And, talk with respect. Ensure when you are communicating, that you are doing so with love and support. This will avoid anyone becoming defensive.

And lastly, hold each other accountable. This is important. Once you have a financial plan, stick to it.

According to a report by the Mcgraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, 48& of married couples have disagreements over how much to spend during the holiday season.

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