Purchasing a timeshare is a huge financial decision, with plenty of long-term ramifications for your pocketbook – including assessments and annual maintenance fees, which tend to rise, year over year.
Oftentimes, even ending your commitment to your resort developer can have a lasting impact on your financial situation, including your credit score.
In situations such as these, it is vital that consumers are honest and realistic about their unique financial situations – both with themselves, and with any family members who may be affected by such a “big ticket” decision.
And yet, if a recent report is to be believed, millions of Americans deliberately hide critical financial and credit information from their families, a decision that could affect a household’s economic security in both the short-term and the long.
According to a study brought to our attention by CNN and USA Today, as many as 15 million Americans may be hiding credit cards, checking accounts, or savings from their live-in partners. Another 9 million admit that they used to have such an account, but have come clean.
That constitutes about one in five U.S. adults in a live-in relationship! Even more staggering, research shows that only 63% of “romantic partners” discuss their finances at least a few times a month, and a staggering 11% admit that they “do not talk about money with their partner at all,” according to CNN.
Why the reluctance to bring up financial matters? Many people may worry that discussing thorny financial situations may lead to arguments or disagreements. But as CreditCards.com senior industry analyst Matt Schultz puts it:
“Keeping financial secrets in a relationship, just like any other type of infidelity, is a sure-fire way to spark an argument… Honest ongoing communication about money is vital to any serious relationship. When in doubt, talk it out.”
Indeed, according to related findings from CreditCards.com, 31% of American adults surveyed claimed that keeping accounts or other pressing financial information hidden from a spouse “is worse than physical cheating.”
Ultimately, this news serves as an important wake-up call to all consumers contemplating any major financial undertaking – honesty is typically the best policy, and a little communication early on could spare you some major stresses down the line.
For a final thought, we’ll leave you these words from Schultz, who told CNN:
“[Discussing money] shouldn’t be a once a year thing… It should be a part of your ongoing discussions. Maybe you put it on the calendar to talk about once a week or maybe you discuss issues as they come up. But however you do it, you need to be honest.”
For more from this report – including how millennials and lower-income households may be more adversely affected by a failure to discuss financial accounts – we encourage you to read on, via CNN, USA Today, or CreditCards.com.
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.