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People tend to lie about money. I have yet to meet a person who would never say a lie, even a small lie. Some of us choose to conveniently omit truth. Some of us choose to tell so called “white lies.” Some of us blatantly make up stories to make ourselves look good. Some of us lie to avoid trouble.
Lying “Harmless” Half-Truth
I will start with myself. I lied about money to my ex-husband. My lies were not malicious, at least in the beginning. I preferred to think that those lies were for the better good. Or so I said to myself. Most likely, my first lie about a bonus that I received from my work, and decided to hide was my first successful attempt to see if I could avoid marriage trouble, avoid being hurt by dismissive looks and snarky comments.
Later, I started buying things and simply putting them into the closet, pretending that they were always there. I viewed it as harmless as long as all was good in the family. At least for a little while. I started building stashes of money, hidden in books and towels.
Looking back I can see now how abominably stupid that was. I shrunk into myself, and ended up in a place I call a negation, an absence. I stayed in this place for almost eight years.
Lying to Avoid Confrontation
My grandfather lied to my grandmother about his plans to invest money. We did not trust banks in Lithuania. Our country just barely became independent, and new banks were growing all around us like weeds. In the Soviet Union we did not have private banks. A private banking system was something new that was introduced to us. Unfortunately, our newly born banking system was weak and unsecured.
My grandfather, an adventurer at heart, invested about three thousand dollars into a savings account with a new bank. My grandmother resisted his idea with passion and a lot of anger. To avoid constant confrontations, my grandfather chose the safe way out: he said that he decided to wait. Meanwhile, he went to one of the banks and opened a savings account.
We did not know about it until it was too late. The interest was good, the future looked bright, until one day the Lithuanian government went bankrupt, and the banks started closing down one after another. The most disgusting part to it was that people never got their money back. Banks simply closed their doors: no explanation was ever offered. My grandfather lost all his savings.
It took a very long time for my grandmother to forgive him – not for losing their savings, not for making a mistake and being too gullible, but for going behind her back and lying to her face.
Equating Money to Self-Image
My friend’s husband frequents payday loan places. Sometimes he goes into their physical locations, sometimes he uses the online services (for example, www.parrotpaydayloans.co.uk.) He almost never tells his wife about his financial endeavors.
His money management philosophy is totally idiotic: when he has money, he pays bills; when he runs out of money – he doesn’t. Sometimes there are bills that have to be paid no matter what (mortgage, for example.)That’s when he uses payday loans.
He associates money with self-worth. He was brought up in a very traditional family where his father was the breadwinner, the head of the family, the decision-maker. As the result of this upbringing, the guy lost focus on what really matters – the real meaning of money and marriage.
When my friend found out about her husband’s extra-marital affair with payday loans, she was infuriated. His defense was simple – he could not admit to it because it would make him look weak and feel worthless.
Money and self-esteem have a direct correlation, and a very complex relationship. This relationship defines how we feel about ourselves. It controls the choices we make. It determines the actions we take.
Now, it is your turn to confess. Have you ever lied about money?