Sneaky schemes you never saw coming (Photo: iStock)

Achieving financial independence is a big deal, and having open and honest conversations is the secret to maintaining strong financial relationships.

Alongside the well-known concept of "black tax", there are the more insidious, less discussed ways in which financial abuse can rear its ugly head.

Fasten your seatbelt, because you may find that you've been a secret victim of these shenanigans without even realising it.

So stay informed, stay vigilant and protect your financial well-being:

Coercive debt drama

Imagine this - your best friend or a family member persuades you to take out a loan for their latest urge, and you find yourself on the hook. You didn't want to, you don't see any way of paying it back, but you did it anyway? Yep, that's financial abuse 101.

Solution: Channel your inner financial superhero and say no when you need to. Your bank account deserves some respect too!

Forced financial dependency
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Imagine your partner insists you quit your job and become their financial sidekick. You're slowly being sucked into their web of dependency. Surprise! This is financial manipulation, and it's time to break free.

Solution: Keep your financial independence hat on. It's the ultimate accessory!

Baby pressure

Your partner has 'baby fever' while your bank account is screaming 'not so fast'. If they're pushing for parenthood before you're financially ready, guess what? You're being played financially.

Solution: Have a conversation about family planning. Discuss your future together, including when and how many children you both feel ready for.

Lock a joint bank account

You have a joint bank account, but it feels inaccessible.  You can't touch your own money! If you've agreed to this and feel like you're starring in your own bank robbery movie, you're a victim of financial drama.

Solution: Time to negotiate a financial peace treaty and ensure that both parties have equal access to these funds.

Caregiver exploits

Have you ever had the feeling that the person who cares for you is secretly helping you with your money? It's not an exciting adventure out of a storybook; it's just plain financial abuse.

The solution:  Make sure there's transparency and oversight in caregiving situations.

The overcharging maestros

Some professionals may charge you more just because they think you're broke. It's not a magic trick, it's a scam! You're a victim of financial trickery.

The solution: Time to expose their secrets! Shop around for deals and show them that you won't be fooled by their fancy tricks.

Going over budget to entertain someone

We all love a good time, but if you're constantly trying so hard to please the gang that you're in over your head financially, run, you're being played. Time to march to your own financial drummer!

The solution: Be the DJ of your own financial dance party. Set boundaries and don't let anyone else jump to a more expensive beat.