Financial bullying isn’t a term that too many Americans are familiar with. However, it’s a very real thing, and you might be the victim of financial bullying and you don’t even know what to call it.
Financial bullying, simply put, is the idea that somebody is making you feel bad for the way you spend money or getting you to spend money you don’t want to spend. While overspending is a real issue, financial bullying occurs when overspending isn’t actually an issue or when somebody is asking you to spend money that could put you in harm’s way.
If you think you’re the victim of financial bullying use this guide to stop it before it becomes a very serious problem:
- Tell the Person that It’s Uncomfortable for You
- Put Aside Your Personal Expenses
- Keep Your Account Separate from the Joint One
- Consider Going to Therapy
- Cut Ties with the Bully
Tell your partner or the person monitoring your spending that they’re making you uncomfortable and that you feel shame when you spend money. You shouldn’t feel like you’re being shamed every single time you spend a dollar, especially if it’s on essential items that you need for home or things like groceries.
Put money aside that you can use for personal things and fun. If you have money put aside that is solely for your use,nobody will be able to tell you how much you can or can’t spend on a particular item.
If you’re sharing money with a partner or spouse, have a conversation about how much money each person should keep to themselves. Opening separate accounts can make this process much easier, even if you use a main joint account for things like bills, rent or a mortgage payment.
In some cases, financial bullying borders on a form of abuse, especially if the person who is being bullied feels like their every move is being controlled by their partner. In those cases, getting help from an outside counselor is often a good idea.
If you can’t get them to change their behavior or feel differently, you may need to move on and keep your money to yourself altogether.