Proof of Funds: Viral Media Life Lessons in Love and Money

Viral TikTok videos aren’t where you’d expect to gain financial tips, but the recently viral “Who TF Did I Marry” opens up an important conversation of financial autonomy.

The viral TikTok series "Who TF Did I Marry" by @reesateesa has become a beacon of cautionary tales in which love meets deception. A gripping thriller made only the more harrowing by that tingle-up-the-neck-feeling of it could happen to anyone, her story unravels a relationship knotted with lies and half truths.

She recounts the evolution of her relationship with a “pathological liar”, stating that her now-ex lied about family members, his career, bank accounts and balances, and more. Beyond the gasps and face-palms, there's a lot of wisdom being handed out, one of which is the importance of financial autonomy.

In Teesa’s own words, “If just one woman watches these videos, and she’s like, ‘You know what? Something don’t sit right with me–let me look into this,’ then it was worth it.” 


Autonomy means having the freedom and power to make your own decisions, to do things on your own, and take control of your life without reliance on others. Choosing what to eat, what to wear, who to date–that’s autonomy. Financial autonomy refers more specifically to having control over your money and the decisions fueled by your financial situation. So, basically, every life decision.


Have you ever felt like you’re in a financial chokehold in a relationship? It can be a seemingly minor issue, like compromising on where the furniture should go because your partner pays more rent, or a more significant concern, such as one person having sole access to the shared bank account, giving them full financial control. 

Think back to being a kid, dependent on your parent’s financial decisions–normal in a parent-child dynamic, but often harmful when mirrored in a romantic partnership. This dependency can create power imbalances, resulting in a toxic relationship that can be very difficult to escape.


Among the many lessons from @reesateesa’s experience is when her fiance refuses to provide proof of funds in order to submit an offer on a home. Many sellers won’t accept a cash offer without proof that the buyer has the funds readily available as this can cause many issues and delays during the home selling process.

This is a stark reminder that financial autonomy isn't just about financial independence; it's a protective barrier against dishonesty and broken dreams. When one partner holds all the financial cards, it's alarmingly easy for them to manipulate the truth—not just about money, but about who they are and what they value. This scenario is more than a red flag; it's a flare gun signaling distress.

“My mom has always taught me ‘do not ever put yourself in a position where you are financially dependent on a man.’”

This wisdom isn’t about gender; it's about power dynamics. Financial autonomy equips you with the knowledge and means to verify claims and commitments, essentially allowing you to demand “proof of funds” in all aspects of your relationship. When your partner knows you’re capable of independently verifying information and making your own financial decisions, the relationship is based on mutual respect rather than power imbalances.

🚩  RED FLAG: Refusing to share financial details or be transparent about major decisions. It indicates a lack of trust and could be a cover for dishonesty.

💚 GREEN FLAG: Encouraging each other’s independence and celebrating autonomy. This shows confidence in each other's abilities and fosters a healthy, balanced partnership.


1. Knowledge empowers

In order to know what to look out for, you have to understand the basics of personal finance–budgeting, saving, borrowing. Use free resources like MoneyEdu, financial blogs, and attend workshops or webinars.

2. Create a plan

Decide on individual and shared financial goals, and while you’re committing to each other, commit to making it an ongoing dialogue that adapts as your relationship and financial situation evolve.

3. Transparency communication is key

Discussing financial information has to be an open, honest, and judgment-free conversation. 

4. Independence doesn't mean isolation

Having your own financial space is healthy. It encourages personal growth and security, which in turn strengthens the relationship.

Financial autonomy in a relationship isn't about drawing battle lines or trying to catch your partner in a lie; it's about building bridges so neither of you are caught in the riptide of a bad situation that can lead to hemorrhaging money. Incorporating these lessons into your life creates a space where both partners are secure in the knowledge that the love is supported by mutual honesty and respect, not obscured by deception.

Love may make the world go round, but if it’s not real, the ground beneath your feet will crumble. Financial synergy and respect are what keeps the lights on and the home fires burning.

Protect yourself from financial deception and become financially independent with free budgeting tools and guides for all the major financial decisions throughout life on MoneyEdu.

March 19, 2024

Published by SunWest Credit Union

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