Spying on spending was more likely among people who shared accounts with adult children and kids under 18. For better or worse Sharing a credit card account is an intimate situation, for better or for worse.
Meanwhile, 17 percent said sharing a credit card account made them feel closer to the other person – proof that teaming up on finances can be a trust builder. Two people trust one another to spend responsibly, lest their future borrowing power suffer damage that’s hard to repair.
It can also, however, encourage the primary cardholder to snoop on the other person’s spending habits.
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“‘I don’t like it that my husband keeps checking on me, so I’ll give him something really big to check on.’ And then it just increases the spending.” A healthy amount of transparency, however, can build trust that enhances the bond between spouses and partners, said psychotherapist Mary Pender Greene.
“One of the major things couples struggle with is hiding things related to money – whether it’s hiding the money itself or hiding the expenses that a person might incur,” she said.
“They are an independent agent, and they have to learn to manage their own affairs.” As with couples, parents and children can argue over credit if they don’t communicate with one another about spending.
Greene said effective credit card sharing is a matter of letting the child know what the limits are based on the family’s resources.