Personal Finance

Why the Average Affair Costs $2,600

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Beyond the emotional toll of extramarital affairs, philanderers and their families pay a large price for adultery. About $2,664, to be exact.

That’s the cost of an average affair, according to a study from VoucherCloud. The data is based on surveys of 2,645 Americans 25 years and older who have been married to their current spouse for at least five years. Nearly a quarter (24%) said they had cheated on their partners.

Based on the responses of these unfaithful individuals, the average affair lasts six months and starts 2 years into marriage. People spend more than $400 a month on their fling, mostly wining and dining the boyfriend or girlfriend. Following dinner and drink tabs ($162 a month), the next greatest affair expense is hotel bills ($123), then date activities ($69) and gifts ($54). Miscellaneous expenses added up to $36 a month.

The interesting thing is that the other spouse doesn’t seem to notice the increase in expenses. Only about a third (32%) of respondents said their spouses noticed or questioned unexplained finance changes stemming from the affairs.

Money secrecy can cause huge issues in relationships, and miscommunication can lead to larger financial problems. For example, if someone thinks there’s enough money in the bank account to pay the bills while the other person is spending some cash on their secret lover, the couple may end up in debt or unable to make payments on time. Depending on the circumstances, such communication issues can lead to credit problems.

On top of that, the actual affair may only cost about $2,600, but that doesn’t account for the costs of whatever happens after your spouse finds out about it. If the infidelity and/or financial issues lead to divorce, you can expect to have to make difficult money decisions and consider the potential damage to your credit.

Cheating doesn’t necessarily mean the end of a marriage, and even if it does, divorce doesn’t have to tear into your financial stability. You should closely monitor your credit reports and scores when going through a split to make sure no errors arise, and you can check out some tips on keeping your credit intact during divorce. You can get free credit scores and an analysis of your credit standing through Credit.com.

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