smart spending

Signs your spouse may be ripping you off

Spouses with money secrets
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Is your spouse cheating on you with money?

Maybe. Have you noticed a few dead presidents missing from your wallet or purse lately? A growing number of checks cashed at the grocery store for more than the purchase amount? An unexplained drain on your 401(k) or home equity line of credit?

Time to wake up and smell the latte, says Ruth Hayden, a Minnesota-based financial consultant, educator and author of "Your Money Life: The 'Make-It-Work' Workbook." As a financial counselor for many years, she's seen it all.

"The major warning sign is when you can't have a reasonable conversation about money," says Hayden. "He or she feels defensive or accusatory, which means he or she has something they're hiding. If it gets a little bigger than that, he or she is able to buy stuff and you can't explain how they can afford it."

How do you spot and stop a sneaky spouse? We sorted through Hayden's case book and real-life examples submitted by Bankrate readers to uncover the means and motives of a marital money thief, and then examined effective ways to prevent them from stealing your marriage. Names have been changed to preserve their unions.


 

 

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