Are you hiding money from your hubby?

Recently a good friend was telling me about a bank account that she hides from her husband. She says she feels like she needs financial security and just pops money into it whenever she can.

A day later, I was listening to an encore show of “Whatever with Alexis and Jennifer” on Sirius radio (the show with Martha Stewart’s daughter Alexis Steward and her partner in crime Jennifer Koppelman Hutt) and they were talking about secrets that you keep. A woman called in and said that she had a secret bank account with $100,000 in it! Her husband was being investigated for tax problems and even though they file separately she was terrified her husband would find out about. (The woman ran her own business and has a separate account anyway so she was just squirreling away from her business.)

Time magazine wrote about the history of women hiding money from their husbands in a 2004 issue.

“Wives have probably been hiding money from their husbands since marriage was invented. The Japanese have a special term for the secret funds: hesokuri, variously translated as belly-button money or spindle money. Before the revision of marital-property laws, a state-by-state process that took until the 1930s, American women had good reason to be stealthy about their hoards, says Princeton sociologist Viviana Zelizer, author of the Social Meaning Of Money. All household property legally belonged to their husbands.”

“What’s surprising is that today, despite greatly expanded financial opportunities and legal rights, women still feel the need to play this cat-and-mouse game, albeit an updated version. No one knows how many wives hide money from their husbands, but there is evidence that the practice is widespread. A survey of 1,000 professional women conducted by working woman magazine in 1995 found that 13% of those interviewed had a secret stash. Women who have been divorced may be more likely to keep hidden funds: 1 in 4 women surveyed in 1999 by the Stepfamily Association of America, 71% of whom were married for the second time, said they kept some money aside. Author Heidi Evans estimates that millions of wives hide money. For her 1999 book, How To Hide Money From Your Husband … and Other Time-Honored Ways to Build a Nest Egg, Evans interviewed women ages 26 to 83 whose secret stockpiles ranged from a mere $200 to a mountainous $200,000. “It’s something of a sisterhood,” she says.”

I started Googling the topic and you wouldn’t believe how many things come up!

This link takes you to an article on MSN Money about women hiding money and red flags to determine if your spouse is guilty of this transgression.

The article quotes a a survey by British online bank Cahoot.com  that found that about 75 percent of women admitted to hiding money, compared with 53 percent of men.

(There’s also a link to a video that teases: The worst kind of infidelity? Financial infidelity is a main cause of divorce. Here’s why it’s such a marriage-breaker.)

There are even books to teach women how to hide money. The title is: “How to Hide Money from Your Husband… and Other Time-Honored Ways to Build a Nest Egg: The Really Smart Woman’s Guide to Stashing Cash and Securing Your Future” by Heidi Evans, Judy Sheindlin

They nicely call it building a nest egg. That doesn’t sound selfish or deceitful, that makes it sound wise!

We’ve talked before about how I feel strongly about joint accounts. (Maybe that’s because I’ve never made as much as him.) His check is direct deposited so I’m not sure how he could hide any money.

I do have $50 in cash that my mother gave me for my birthday in my top dresser drawer. It’s kind of more safety money just to have in the house as opposed to mad money.

Are you hiding money from your hubby? If so, why? And tell us about your stash! How much have you saved? How long did it take? Where do you hide it? Does he suspect? Would he be mad?  Do you think it indicates a problem in the marriage? Do you find it deceitful or wise? Would you be upset if he had a slush fund too?

83 comments Add your comment

penguinmom

July 7th, 2009
11:49 pm

Nope, I never even thought about hiding money from him. I’m the one who keeps up with the checking accounts (home and business) so I could easily do it but I don’t see a reason for it. If one of us needs/wants something, we either have the money for it as a family or we don’t. We discuss purchases and both keep up with what money is coming in and what’s going out.

I’m wondering what happens later when the wife reveals that the family could have paid off the house early or taken that dream vacation or whatever but she had stashed the money where her husband wouldn’t find it. I’d be pretty ticked off if my husband came to me in 10 years with a $100,000 savings account that he had squirreled away without my knowledge. Knowing what we could have done with that money and realizing his complete lack of trust in me would make me very upset.

To me it somewhat shows a level of insecurity and also a lack of trust in the spouse. Perhaps that lack of trust was earned through financial mismanagement or other problems. I still think I would rather deal with that issue directly through counseling etc. Then I can be up front about what I’m doing with the money rather than sneaking around and hiding it.

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JJ

July 8th, 2009
8:12 am

I think EVERY woman should have a secret stash of cash. It’s just too easy for men to walk away from everything and leave the woman hanging.

I was left with a newborn child (just home from the hospital), a home, two car payments, a TON of debt, and $0 in the bank, when he decided to go to spain with his girlfriend and end our marriage with NO regard for me or OUR child. AND there was absolutely NO notice to me whatsoever.

It took me 4 years for major struggling to get back on my feet. I wish I had a stash back then. However, I have bounced back, and have owned two homes since then, and am now sending MY child off to college. I understand he is living hand to mouth out in Texas somewhere with girlfriend #4. What goes around comes around!!!!

I’m so much better off without him!!!!

Jessica

July 8th, 2009
8:13 am

There are probably even more women hiding debt than stashing away a “nest egg.” I have at least two friends who are hiding credit card debt from their husbands.

Photius

July 8th, 2009
8:36 am

Hmmm…. JJ… Feel better? Let’s see, you have a child with lots of debt and zero savings – great move. I’m sure it’s all the man’s fault. Then he leaves right after you give birth and it was a total surprise. You picked him, honey!

As for the subject today, I think most ladies have a mad money stash but normally it’s not that much money and they will primarily use it for their kids, not themselves.

DB

July 8th, 2009
8:43 am

No, no “secret stash” here. I don’t have the insecurity or a spendthrift husband — luckily, we both feel the same way about saving and spending, so that’s not a source of stress. I have a separate account that I use for miscellaneous small things with a debit card, just to keep the joint account from fluctuating too much with debit card hits, but it’s not at all secret. I can understand why you might want to, though, if you had a husband who was flighty and had a history of spending money inappropriately.

I know of a couple of people that have done this, in preparation to hitting their husbands with a divorce down the road. One woman I know who I used to call a friend cold-bloodedly plotted her divorce from her husband with a five-year plan, deciding to go back to school, get her degree (paid for by hubby, of course), build up a secret stash, and then divorce him. She did it, too. He wasn’t a philanderer, an alcoholic, a druggie, etc. — but he was working long hours building a professional practice and just wasn’t up to the social scene she was craving. I thought it was deceitful and dishonest and told her so, when she asked me what I thought. (Thus the “no longer friends” :-) ) I figured that if she could stick it out for five years, she wasn’t exactly suffering, and she was guilty of using him and not working to save the marriage, especially with three small children. She bragged that she thought she would be able to stash almost $40,000 before she “dumped his a–”. I don’t know if she did manage to squirrel away that much, because we parted ways. But I wouldn’t be surprised.

I agree with Jessica, there are probably far more women hiding credit card debt than secret hoards of money.

If a guy did this, the women would be screaming bloody murder, accusing him of hiding money for some nefarious purpose, of having a woman on the side, etc.

catlady

July 8th, 2009
8:56 am

If the relationship is good and there are no mental health issues (for instance, is he a gambler?) then I think if you hide money there is something very very wrong besides money.

If you married a profligate womanizer, you need a stash, for sure, but you need out of the marriage a lot more.

What about joint bank accounts? I was always raised around couples who put all their income and debts together, but I know quite a few people now who have a his and hers account, and they parcel out the debts. That seems strange to me, but if I was in a second marriage, with grown children on each side, I might do it.

catlady

July 8th, 2009
9:02 am

penguinmom, or the husband dies of a heart attack while working like a maniac to try to secure their financial future and the wife has been putting back a secret stash.

Jesse's Girl

July 8th, 2009
9:07 am

He hides the chocolate from me….I hide the TastyCakes from him…thats about it! I haven’t the energy nor time to do something so stealthy!! We have a smaller account with the same bank that our shared primary account is with…this smaller acct is for all household expenses. But going online with the bank…either of us can see at any time whats going on with both accts. No divorce here y’all….we both agree, its easier and cheaper to just kill eachother if things go awry:)

JJ

July 8th, 2009
9:17 am

Thanks Photius, I feel much better now.

Am I not allowed to vent once in a while? I was left with a debt, because HE depeleted our bank account. I was left to clean up the mess he made.

Bitter, no I’m not. I just vented. Some idiot ball-less jerk I work with set me off this morning.

motherjanegoose

July 8th, 2009
9:34 am

We do have separate bank accounts as we handle money differently. I have mentioned this before and gotten poo pooed from some.

Spending habits were established before our marriage. I grew up in a VERY frugal family ( that had money but did not show it) and my husband’s parents bounced checks all the time, while he was growing up. They never had any money and charged everything.

Now that our kids are older and we both have established careers, we outline the bills and divvy them up. We contribute a fairly equal amount. He takes on more monthly expenses but I cover annual things such as vacations ( we take 3 or 4 per year) , camp for our daughter and driver’s ed this summer , dog check up ( over $300 ouch) and monthly grooming, new fence in our yard, new washer and dryer ( last month) and new refrigerator ( last year) and dishwasher the year before that. We hope to get new carpet and flooring this summer but I am scoping out prices.

I know where he banks and he knows where I bank, so this is not a surprise.

To me, depending primarily on your husband’s income is 1960 ish but I do know there are many women out there who do it. Maybe this is why they feel the need to squirrel money away….do more stay at home women do this or is it career women…I would like to know.

Some women are able to never work outside the home and if they feel content…so be it. Not mine to judge. In today’s economy…I think it is scary to know that if he lost his job you could be toast and what if he did not have enough money put back for you to live? Wives can always go to work if they need to but jobs are NOT readily available now and there may be none to be had.

As readers know, I have always worked and thus have more than $100 to my name to spend, without any questions asked. I never dip into my husband’s account and use my own credit cards
( with a zero balance…hahaha).

My mother never had a job outside the home and had to beg my Dad for every nickel she spent.
She did squirrel money away but never had much.

My step Mom was a career women and spends her own money ( as she always did) . Sometimes, I think my Dad feels that she is spending money wastefully but I remind him that this is HER
( retirement and SS) money and not his.

I agree that many women hide credit cards…this is probably more common than not. I also think women get a bad rap as far as being shopoholics. My mother was one but she never had her own money to spend and seemed to want to buy her happiness. I could go to the mall TODAY and spend $1000 but have no interest in doing so. If someone told me they were giving me $1000 to spend today before noon at the mall, I would not be excited….it is not who I am. I might like to buy a new piece of furniture however….LOL.

DB…you mentioned your friend who got her degree that was paid for by her husband…I know women who worked to put their husbands through school and then they were dumped…is this any different? Just wondering.

penguinmom…old habits die hard and sometimes even counseling will not change the way people feel about money. IMHO.

BShepC

July 8th, 2009
9:34 am

wow…never even thought about hiding money…i can’t even hide the oreos! marriage is about trust, so hiding money (or anything else significant) is a big no no in my book.

also…i don’t know JJ, but what was she do when he left her? she picked up the pieces best she could and seems to have done an awesome job of it. yes, she picked her husband, but i am sure she didn’t pick him so he could run out on her when she most needed him. sometimes you just don’t know what someone is going to do! people change and sometimes for the worst. give the girl a break.

JJ

July 8th, 2009
9:49 am

Thank you BShepC. I’m so tired of being told I picked a loser. Does anyone really think I went into a marriage and had a child, knowing he was a jerk? God, I’m not that stupid.

But thank you for the defense and kind words. I definately need them today. It’s not pretty here at work this morning. :)

deidre_NC

July 8th, 2009
9:49 am

i think everyone needs to have separate accounts…not hidden or secret maybe…but everyone needs to have their money that no one else has a say in….thats my opinion and what i advise my kids…ideally is 1 joint for bills and major ‘together’ purchases…1 each for each own ‘do what i want’ money…only time to hide money is if there are problems and then you should do something to solve them. i do understand why women do this-i was like jj…left with nothing..etc….but again..there were problems and i should have been smarter..i am now…im single and love it!! lol

Jesse's Girl

July 8th, 2009
9:53 am

JJ…you vent all you want. The son-of-a-building-block left you with nothing but debt, heart ache and a baby. I’m sure you’ve forgiven him…you’re cool like that…but there’s nothing wrong with singing the sage words of Timberlake whenever you think of him…..”What goes around comes back around…I thought I told ya…yeah!”

Jeff

July 8th, 2009
9:59 am

Women hiding money is OK (because it’s the man’s fault due to some character defect) but him hiding a girlfriend (ala McNair) is unforgivable?!?!? Any chance McNair was justified because of some character defect of his soon-to-be ex wife.

Some of you women claim you want him to be your best friend, total honesty, but yet hiding money is OK.

motherjanegoose

July 8th, 2009
10:02 am

JJ…remind yourself that some women are just steps away from where you were and they do not even know it. I cannot imagine being in your shoes with a newborn but you had the guts to pull yourself through.
There are many times I do not agree with what you share ( or the way you share your opinion) and the feeling is probably mutual. I ALWAYS admire the fact that you had to get your fanny in gear and move on with your life. I see women all the time who are knocked off their butts and cannot get past it.

Kudos to you!

Jesse's Girl

July 8th, 2009
10:02 am

Um Jeffery…hiding money and hiding another bed-buddy aren’t even in the same league. And who is McNair?

JJ

July 8th, 2009
10:13 am

Thank you to the regulars. It’s nice to have you in my corner……even you Photius….

Becky

July 8th, 2009
10:18 am

JJ, don’t let others get you down, let them keep breaking their arms patting themselves on the back..Life isn’t perfect and neither are we..Not all of us picked Mr Perfect the first go round…

As for money, my husband gives me a certain $ amt. each month and between that and what I contribute, this is how our bills are paid..When we go out to dinner, shopping or on any trips, he pays for it..When we spend money on the kids, he pays for it..If I want to buy something, I buy it..I am the only one on the checking account..This has worked for us for 16 years..As I tell him, what’s mine is mine and what’s his is ours..

Jesses Girl, Steve McNair was the quarterback for the Titans..He had a girlfriend on the side and this past weekend, they say that she killed him, then shot her self…

Jesse's Girl

July 8th, 2009
10:20 am

See what happens when you screw around! Either the girlfreind kills you or the wife lets you live and you wish she hadn’t:)

jct

July 8th, 2009
10:28 am

I like MJG believe in separate accounts. We divide the bills and are responsible for our share. It works for us. I married older (34). I had established accounts and career. We have different spending habits so I rest easier (I am a saver by nature). There are no fights about money.

There are no hidden accounts but I know that I only talk about how much money is one of savings accounts. We discussed the other account last month. I was sick and I was being melodramatic that if I died here were the account numbers and how much money was in each account. It surprised both of us that I had that much money and had never brought it us for discussion. I guess that can happen when you keep accounts separate…

DB

July 8th, 2009
10:36 am

MJG: Usually, when a wife works to help put her husband through school, they are planning a future together, and it’s an investment in their future.

My objection to my ex-friend’s approach was that she planned to divorce him. She wasn’t building a life together, she was preparing to cut him out of her life entirely, funded by him. So I don’t see it as the same thing. I feel like she milked him before she dumped him — a lot like JJ’s husband cleaning out the bank account before flitting off.

Yeah, it’s true, some doctors, lawyers, etc. eventually dump the wife that put ‘em thru school, but I don’t think there are too many out there that PLAN to dump ‘em after they are through school.

Jeff

July 8th, 2009
10:48 am

The bottom line is this; hiding money is a betrayal of trust. Period end of story. If you feel the need to hide money from your husband, go ahead and get the divorce papers filed and quit wasting his time and yours. You both may have the real Mr and Mrs Right just arouind the corner

Sheree

July 8th, 2009
11:06 am

Hi All, I’m a long time reader of this blog, and decided to post today.

I have a nice stash he doesn’t know about. I started doing this about 3 years ago, only because I have known too many women who’s husbands ran off and left them with nothing, like JJ. If that happens to be, I’ll be ready.

I don’t like keeping secrets, but I do believe that every woman, especially with the divorce rate so high, should have her own money, that she can assess whenever. My mother has a secret stash too she has never told my father about. However, in the event she passes before he does, he is the beneficiary.

It's been on my mind...

July 8th, 2009
11:09 am

I have seriously thought about hiding money, but it just feels wrong. My husband is horrible with money. My credit was stellar when I met him and his was crap. I help him re-establish and get to the stellar point. Well, over the last 5 years he has been in/out of work (mostly his fault for leaving them for something “better”). He didn’t stop spending though to account for the $40K-$50K loss of income! Now we are ruined financially. I am hoping that this will help to open his eyes to what he has done! I have worked full time for our entire relationship and marriage (carrying the insurance, benefits, etc.) He has always had the “luxury” of knowing that I will never just quit my job. There are times when I wish I had the extra money put aside so that I could just walk away. That’s the easy way out though I think.

My first marriage we had separate accounts. His money was his, mine was mine. There was no OUR money. He put everything in HIS name. There was no sharing. He was very controlling. I did go to school while we were married and earned a degree (while working full time). After many years of hearing how I could never succeed without him and how worthless I was and to just leave, I did! I left pretty much with nothing. To this day he still tells everyone HE put me through school (even though I worked full time and had tuition reimbursement) and then I left him. He conveniently leaves out that he told me to leave!

Anyway, if I had squirreled away a little money, I wouldn’t have had to struggle so hard! Now I am in the opposite situation with a money spender! Boy do I know how to pick ‘em!

Perhaps I will open my own account and let him know I have one. It will be in MY name only though!

Photius

July 8th, 2009
11:12 am

My experience generally is women will have a mad money account but it’s mainly used for taking the kids out for pizza for dinner when the father is out on a business trip, especially if the guy is cheap. A lot of men will use money as a weapon, especially if they are earning very well.

Angel

July 8th, 2009
11:17 am

I think that all women should have a side stash or other income source, so that they are not utterly and totally dependent upon their husbands, family, etc. for money. Employees should use this same rationale and always maintain a side business or gig, so that if they lose a job, they have another revenue source. My mother ingrained this in me as I was growing up and I plan to do the same with my daughters. Why wouldn’t a woman create an emergency fund for herself? Divorce rates are steadily increasing, you would be a fool not to plan for your future. To me a side stash is simply insurance…no one wishes for disaster, but you want to be prepared for it when or if it happens.
I once had a friend that was a stay at home mom with three children. Her husband controlled all of the money and allocated her an allowance of $15.00 per month for “personal items”. I wish my husband would try that. Have your own money ladies.

Becky

July 8th, 2009
11:19 am

Photius, my ex earned more than I did and that was always his reason why he never had to do any household chores inside or outside..Other than going to work and going to the bar everyday, he felt he had to do nothing….Guess thats why we’ve been divorced 16 years and he is now married for the 10th time..Two of them, he married twice and one girl, they broke up the night before the wedding..

It's been on my mind...

July 8th, 2009
11:37 am

Photius, I think you are right when you say “some” men use money as a weapon. That is definitely a way to control the family! I have seen this MANY times!

catlady

July 8th, 2009
11:41 am

During my marriage (divorced 23 years now) I made most of the money. He was always “tired” or, like Cheney, had “better things to do” than work. He knew whatever had to be done I would eventually find a way to do. I (in order to make things work) went along with most of his schemes which kept us in a big hole financially, then our son was horribly hurt in a freak accident, which hurt even more financially as well as in every other way. At any rate, I went back to work after 2-3 weeks with each birth and carried the house and childcare as well, but it did not occur to me to have any kind of secret account. We were a married couple and I wanted badly for it to work and thought as the wife my job was to make it work. He spent “our” money pretty freely on the things he wanted and my job was to figure out how to pay for food, rent, etc.

If I were to remarry a man with a previous family, I think I would consider yours, mine, ours accounts rather than feel angry if he wanted to “help” his children or guilty if I wanted to “help” mine. It would then be IF that person could afford to, rather than feeling taken advantage of using money the other earned to help the perhaps wasteful children.

Separate accounts are fine...

July 8th, 2009
11:45 am

…but be careful that you do not create a situation whereby no one has access to the account should you die unexpectedly. My spouse and I have always had separate accounts, but we also have each others names on them for just this scenario.

While I realize this does not work for those trying to protect themselves from a situation such as JJ’s, please be mindful that banking laws MAY prohibit the surviving spouse from accessing the decedant’s account until probate is completed, which may be at least a year down the road. ANd vice-versa should the wife not be on the husband’s account and she depends on him to just give her an allowance weekly, monthly, etc!

motherjanegoose

July 8th, 2009
11:51 am

10 times married Becky…that has got to be a record! WHO would marry someone who has had that many problems in marriages?

Good points today about men who control the family through money. I grew up in that arena and it has made me realize that if I am intelligent enough to earn it, I should be intelligent enough to make choices about how to spend or save it.

I cannot fathom any woman who has to get an allowance from her husband….this may be just me. But it would not happen in my lifetime. If I could retire forever but had to depend on my husband to dole out money to me….I would not do it. I would rather work and have my own money to spend.

Katherine

July 8th, 2009
11:53 am

I wouldn’t be able to hide money…we are too open with each other. I would spill the beans. :) I feel like if I felt the need to be hiding money, we would have bigger issues that I would want to fix.

My parents have been married for 26 years and my mom stopped working right around the time they got married. She doesn’t have an allowance; she and my dad have a joint checking account (the checkbook is my mom’s responsibility) and they share credit cards, so she has always been able to buy whatever she wants when she wants to (although my parents/mom seem to like to shop, my mom is very good about clipping coupons and shopping around for the best price, no matter what she is buying). But I wonder if she has any money that she’s set aside…

BessieBear

July 8th, 2009
11:58 am

I don’t hide money, but I do have my own separate account. Hubby and I decided when we married that we would pool our money – so much easier to pay bills and such, and differences in income don’t matter. But, we do give ourselves a weekly allowance out of our joint account. I think it is important to each have our own spending money. We each agree on what things need to be bought with our allowance money – for us it’s things like videos, music, overly expensive clothes or makeup, eating out when not together, gifts for one another, any items we don’t agree on being something the house account pays for.

Hubby is a big spender, has a huge movie collection, all his favorite games and such, so he rarely has more than $100 to his name. I am the saver, so I needed my own saving account. I think I will end up spending a big chunk of money on a super nice vacation for the family, but it will be my decision on where and what we spend it on.

I do know a few families, where the husband is either the bigger earner, or sole earner, and he seems to have most or all control of money decisions. In those cases, I think the woman is driven to hiding money. I would.

Scott

July 8th, 2009
12:25 pm

I would like to know if it would be acceptable if the husband had an account that the women knew nothing about? Would there be outrage due to him hidding money?

lwa

July 8th, 2009
12:31 pm

We have joint accounts and separate accoutns for our own spending.

PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU LIST YOUR SPOUSE AS THE POD (beneficiary) ON INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS. This way the spouse is able to claim the money if you die. If not, it can be awhile before the funds are released.

Photius

July 8th, 2009
12:38 pm

Scott raises a great point, would there be outrage if the guy was stashing cash away? Let’s see…. from these blogging ladies, no way. Ladies the best way to protect yourself is to get an education or a skilled trade before you start popping out rug rats. Go back into the work force once the little one’s are in school – earn a living, don’t be a “Mommy” for the rest of your life with no skills or experience and then blame the bum husband for your troubles in case he splits out. Women need to protect themselves via education, birth control, smart choices in life, etc. This is how my daughter is raised. She will never be boxed in via a man.

JJ

July 8th, 2009
12:51 pm

Photius, wanna bet? EVERY woman has had a bad man somewhere in their past. Quit being so uppity.

I’ve raised my daughter to be an independant person. She has seen me as a single mom her entire life. I’ve taught her to depend on NO ONE other than herself. Don’t depend on some man for your well being. Take care of yourself. AND pay yourself first. Put money in a savings account every single time you get a paycheck. So far she has already started this practice and has built up a small savings account over the past three years, working for minimum wage at 16, 17 & 18 years old. My child will be financially successful!!!!!

Incognito

July 8th, 2009
12:52 pm

A huge component of a successful marriage (in my somewhat limited experience) is learning to compromise and communicate. If you feel the need to have money *hidden* away-not just a separate account that you can spend as you please, but money that a spouse knows nothing about-then that seems pretty dishonest to me. I would be furious if my husband was squirreling secret money away, especially since we are on a very limited budget these days and it takes every dollar to make things work. It can be hard (and some days it feels near impossible!) but you have to be able to work through disagreements on what to spend and what to save, otherwise you are setting up a lifetime of dispute over finances. We have only been married about a year and a half, but we have learned so much over that time about budgeting and sacrificing and compromising. We came into the marriage with somewhat different financial philosophies, and we still differ somewhat on spending versus saving, but we are able to trust each other that we are putting *our* life together first.

I would consider a secret stash for either a husband or wife to be dishonest and a betrayal. Again, I want to emphasize “secret” versus “separate”.

BessieBear

July 8th, 2009
12:55 pm

In a good marriage, money decisions are made together, regardless of who earns more money. Both partners should be capable of earning money and taking care of themselves should something happen. If there is a marriage where the women is the big earner, and overly contolling with the money, then I can see where the man is going to want/need to hide money.

DB

July 8th, 2009
1:06 pm

Photius — “Go back into the work force once the little one’s are in school – earn a living, don’t be a “Mommy” for the rest of your life with no skills or experience and then blame the bum husband for your troubles in case he splits out.

I agree with you wholeheartedly on women getting themselves educated and employable. As my parents always emphasized (and as my grandmother demonstrated), ANYONE, including a woman, should be able to take care of herself and hers. My grandfather died when my grandmother had two small children right after World War II — if she hadn’t gotten teaching credentials and was able to teach, my mother’s family would have been up the creek.

But please don’t go slamming the stay-at-home moms for choosing to stay home and take on one of the toughest, unpaid jobs around. And if a man becomes a bum and splits — then, yeah, you are damn well sure that I would “blame” him for ducking his commitment and responsibilities. He enjoyed the benefits of not paying for childcare and having his home cared for. Before the kids were born, I worked with a woman who decided to stop working for a while when her kids got to middle school. As she said, wryly, “THIS is the time they need the most supervision at home!”

Mil Mom

July 8th, 2009
1:12 pm

I wouldn’t say that having a secret account is always a trust issue. Its always a good idea to have a back up stash just in case something unthinkable occurrs. I have a ’secret’ stash, but its intention was not for a possible divorce, or anything unmoral. Its just how I was raised, both my parents had secret stashes, and they came in handy a couple of times. Both my grandparents had one. When they died and we were going through their stuff we found both of their secret stashes. They were both in the same china cabinet, just on opposites sides. Neither knew what the other had done. It was kinda funny when we discovered what happened.

I personally like the extra security. What if my husband suddenly died? it takes time to get funds from other accounts, or insurance policies to kick in, or heaven forbid he runs off with someone younger someday, I have that security. On the other end of the spectrum, I may want to surprise him one year with that motorcycle he’s been eyeing, or a new boat… how nice would it be to just buy it outright instead of having to finace it? I’m just saying a secret stash isn’t always based a bad intentions.

Denise

July 8th, 2009
1:19 pm

My aunt and uncle had separate accounts at one time – one family and one for each of them. The reason is because my uncle was overly giving and would give money away (once paid off a car for his mom/my grandmother) without consulting my aunt and sometimes leaving them in a lurch when Catholic school tuition was due. I know that any time you have a joint account, there is always the risk of thinking you have $xxx in the bank and spending accordingly when there is a significant difference between what you thought and what you have. That’s tough when it comes to bills.

Recently a girlfriend of mine had a situation just like this with her (raggedly and financially irresponsible) husband. She’d already separated her money from his because of his irresponsibility so she is clear what money is available to for household bills; he gives her money each month to put in on the bills. One day she almost cried because several checks bounced because her husband “borrowed” her debit card linked to the account she pays bills from and she found out too late how much money he’d spent.

On the topic of hiding money, I think it’s only okay if you are in a situation you are trying to leave (abusive spouse) and need to save money to leave. Lots of women stay in abusive relationships because they can’t afford to move. Hiding money away for that I think it’s okay. My mother told me that I should always have enough money to get transportation from anywhere I don’t need to be and enough to get an apartment if I ever had to leave a bad situation.

Incognito

July 8th, 2009
1:30 pm

In response to Mil Mom…I totally agree that a secret stash isn’t always intended to be used for “bad”…I’m just saying that for my marriage, I don’t think it’s fair for either of us to be withholding money from our very tight budget in order to spend on whatever we like. And for the sake of our marriage, I don’t believe in having a “what-if” fund in case my husband up and leaves me. Or I him. If anything, not having that stash gives me more of a reason to resolve the issues and make it work sometimes. :) Maybe that’s naive but I believe if you leave an emergency exit cracked at the back of your mind, you’ll be more likely to run for it when things get hard.

Mil Mom

July 8th, 2009
1:49 pm

Incognito: That’s absolutly fine that you feel that way. Everyone views marriage/life and all that it entails differently. I was merlt expressing my point of view. My husband and I are both military, I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of of a seemingly happy marriage is destroyed because one spouse or the other suddenly found someone new and simply left. Conversly is true also, I heard many a tales of almost picture perfect marriages, lasting forever. It all has to do with the way we’re raised, and the situations life presents us. I was raised, and later trained in the Army to always hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. That’s just me.

However, if a spouse is hiding money while bills are going unpaid, or not contributing to the agreed amount to the family savings, or the family is just barely ‘makin it’ then that’s a whole ‘nother ball park. I would have some serious issues with that.

Becky

July 8th, 2009
2:18 pm

Scott and Photius, my husband has money put away that I know about, I just don’t know how much it is..Doesn’t bother me in the least..

Leen

July 8th, 2009
3:04 pm

What money? The government has it all.

Scott

July 8th, 2009
3:11 pm

Becky, you know about the money he has put away, I think this is totally different than the topic. Is it a secret stash if you know it is there?
I personally do not agree with the “what if money” because it is a trust issue and hopefully you can trust your mate.
Now an abusive sistuation is totally different.

Becky

July 8th, 2009
3:20 pm

Scott, ok..As for abusive situations, that is one thing that I would not be in..These women that stay with abusive husbands and say they have no option, to me that’s BS…He might beat the crap out of me once, but he has to go to sleep at some point and all H*LL would break loose than…

JJ

July 8th, 2009
3:20 pm

How about a topic on going from single mom to empty nester and how to make a smooth transition. What do you do when suddenly you have all this time on your hands and an empty house to go home to (except for the animals)…….I know we touched on this about a year ago….but my child is headed off to college in 40 days.

Theresa, could we make this our Friday topic? I sure could use some ideas….other than a second job and/or volunteering…….

deidre_NC

July 8th, 2009
5:24 pm

im with jj on the empty nest topic…my youngest leaves for college in august..she actually has pretty much moved out to live with her bf..(which i am not happy about at all) but it i am finding some things very hard to deal with…weird things…cant wait for this topic!!

motherjanegoose

July 8th, 2009
6:10 pm

JJ…I am not totally empty nest, as I have a 17 year old at home. It is a BIG adjustment when a child goes off to college. My husband lost his best buddy ( our son), 4 years ago. He was rather forlorn for a while.

I personally believe this is why each person should cultivate their own friends, social interests and hobbies. Couple friends are fine but if the couple splits up or one dies…that’s it.

I love my daughter and will miss her like crazy but she will leave and my life will go on without her.

I have two types of parent friends: those whose kids come home a LOT from college and cannot seem to make the adjustment and those who never see their kids because they LOVE college ( my son). He is 45 minutes away but he may as well be in Wyoming.

I am now seeing adults who could not wait to retire but when they got there, all their friends were still at work and they actually had no personal hobbies and or friends ( outside of work). I worry that my husband will be like this and he keeps telling me that he will make friends and hobbies when he actually retires. I am not so sure. If you don’t fish, golf, bowl or play tennis…will you start when you are 60?

Lakerat should be able to give a clue about the empty nest thing and maybe even retirement??

deidre_NC ( I know you do not like it) but if my 18 year daughter moved in with her boyfriend, then she would be moving into his pocketbook and out of mine….Perhaps he has lots of money and that would be a good thing….LOL.

catlady

July 8th, 2009
6:40 pm

I have been an empty nester for 6 years. It was hard, especially 18 months ago when the baby went 1000 miles away. Luckily she hated it…Thankfully I got some practice with her 2 older siblings when they went off to school.

After the youngest left I focused on exploring what I was interested in, and have developed some “wild” interests, such as playing poker with a bunch of very liberal agnostics every 2 weeks. My children are still pretty surprised about that.

Sometimes I am lonely. Sometimes I am scared, especially when I am sick. I have some serious health issues and live way out in the country. My children call me frequently to check on me, and I call them sometimes to check on them, too.

Best wishes to you, JJ. Give yourself a chance to decompress and permission to explore other interests and avocations.

Jesse's Girl

July 8th, 2009
7:37 pm

JJ…I think and your girl should go ahead and redo her room now. Nothing huge….but somehting she can put her fingerprint on. That way…you’re not faced with seeing her as she was everytime you walk by it. You’ll see a hint of her as the woman she is becoming. Aslo….start a home improvement project that if left undone would make you completely miserable. That will force you to address it after she leaves….

MA

July 8th, 2009
7:49 pm

If I HAD any extra money I would stash it. hee, hee! On the “empty nester” topic, I have one in college and one will be a Senior in high school this year. My college son does not come home much (he is taking some summer classes to catch up), especially during football season (HUGE fan), but, when he does, he usually spends most of the time at his best friend’s house. My daughter does not have plans right now. My husband and I go out to breakfast on weekends now to get ready for our “empty” house.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

July 8th, 2009
8:51 pm

Hey JJ – We can definitely do the topic — I may not use this Friday — I kind of have one in mind — but let me think on it –

marie

July 8th, 2009
9:43 pm

I hide money…from myself. I don’t enter a few thousand in the register in my checking account. I just have to account for it when I balance my statement. But my husband knows its there. It irritates him, but I balance the statement.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

July 8th, 2009
9:58 pm

marie — I do that too — I write it in the front

Tiffany

July 8th, 2009
10:00 pm

I don’t think there is anything wrong with a woman who stashes extra cash in a secret account. You don’t have to have any hidden agendas. It is just a smart move to protect yourself and your kids in case of any unforeseen problems in the future.
Another thing…to all you know it alls out there: no woman marries a man knowing that he is a hateful jerk who is not worthy of her trust. That SOMETIMES comes later, unfortunately. People change…husbands change. BE PREPARED.

fk

July 8th, 2009
10:12 pm

I have one account in my name, but my husband knows about it. I think it would disturb me if he had a secret account, just like I think he would have a negative reaction if I had one. It’s the secret part, sounds deceitful. He gets (or used to) get quarterly bonuses and would take a large chunk of it to spend on golf, tennis, etc. I’m fine with that. Some of the men he worked with at a previous job would actually hide bonuses from their wives; would not have them directly deposited into the bank accounts, but would get a separate check, and change the witholding taxes.

JJ…my son leaves in 3 weeks. I’m still in a little bit of denial. He’s so looking forward to starting this new chapter in his life. Very proud of him and very happy for him, but will miss him very much. I just can’t believe how quickly the years passed, especially the four years of high school…

itpdude

July 8th, 2009
10:22 pm

She can hide all the money she wants and I won’t look so long as she doesn’t look for the mistresses I hide.

marty

July 8th, 2009
10:28 pm

Nothing has been mentioned about men hiding money. Just about everyone I know “hides” money from their spouse. It is a good way to save, but also a good way to buy those special gifts without the spouse knowing the cost.

Jesse's Girl

July 8th, 2009
10:52 pm

Now that I think about it…how is hiding a secret I.C.E. stash…in case of emergency….any different than a pre-nup? Aren’t they both a protection of sorts?

DB

July 9th, 2009
12:12 am

Jesse’s Girl — I’m not a big fan of pre-nups, either, except in the case of remarriages that need to differentiate estates for children, etc. So the ICE “secret” stash, to me, is still a strange idea. An ICE account, certainly. Secret, no.

Tiffany — I guess it’s possible for people to change — but it just seems like such a fundamental character issue.

Re — empty nesting. We, too, are having fun gathering things that will be needed for a) daughter’s first year at college and b) son’s first year living off campus. I’m loving have my son home for the summer, with his erratic work schedule. His friends come and go, and it’s wonderful to see all the kids I’ve watched grow up wandering in and out, exciting about their schools and their plans for the future. I’ve lost count of how many “second dinners” I’ve fixed so far this summer! (”Second dinner” — the meal that 18-22 year old boys eat at midnight!) But my daughter continues to worry about what I’m going to do next year with her gone. Hehe, I have a list a mile long of things to do!

JJ

July 9th, 2009
7:39 am

Jessie’s Girl, we have already re-done her room. We did it when she turned 17 and was tired of the posters, etc. We painted and got new curtains, etc.

We were packing up some dorm stuff we have already bought, and I told her, well, the two remaining posters need to come down. She’s like, Why? this is still my room and I will be coming home…..hee hee…..

And I’ve already started a couple of projects. I ripped the carpet up in the dining room, and will go to Home Depot to learn how to install pergo. I have some empty nester friends who know how to do that stuff. We’ve already painted my living/dining room.

But I’m thinking about taking a class or two, or getting a part time job…….

jct

July 9th, 2009
8:37 am

@JJ

Start thinking about grocery’s. Our son moved out two weeks ago. I have so much food in my house because I did not adjust quickly enough in the first trip to the grocery store.

We start redoing his room this weekend. His room is painted dark blue so I am not sure how much primer will be needed to make it a more neutral color.

motherjanegoose

July 9th, 2009
9:30 am

jct…yes, I do remember that we still had milk after 4 days…

Q T Pie

July 9th, 2009
10:03 am

I have a stash out of necessity as I have a super-stingy, cheap,tightwad-to-the-point-of-embarrassing spouse, who is obsessed with acquiring money.

Did I know he was this way when I married him? No, otherwise I would not have married him. Plus, it took me a while to realize he was this way, as I was blinded by my love for him.

So, I stash money from him (and yes, we have separate bank accounts)so that our children and I can live life in accordance with MY values (I tithe to the church, give gifts once in a while to friends & family, give our children an allowance,donate money charity, etc – ALL of which my hubby says is a COMPLETE WASTE OF MONEY).

I tried for years to reason with him about his behavior, but to no avail. I finally realized that HE has a mental problem regarding money, and that the best thing for me to do is to have a separate account from him so I am not constantly harassed over wanting to spend a dab of money once in a while.

Ever since I made this change, life is sweeter for me and the kids (our two girls). Is my hubby still ridiculously stingy and embarrassing? Yes, but I do not have to put up with it like I used to. He’s happy stockpiling pennies in his account, and I am happy tending to mine. When life give you lemons, sometimes it’s best to make lemonade!

JJ

July 9th, 2009
10:23 am

JCT I never thought about that…..thanks.

I do know I’ll save a bunch of money at the grocery store, shopping for one now. I love to make homemade soups and chilis, and I can live off a pot of soup for a few days. My daughter hates soup, and refuses to eat it.

And I’m not a big eater, and love salads…..so there’s a lot of fresh fruit & veggies in my house…..

What’s going to be weird, is coming home every night after work. No need to rush home now……..

Jesse's Girl

July 9th, 2009
2:11 pm

Thats it JJ…we’re meeting for beers or wine once a week:)

DB

July 9th, 2009
6:20 pm

JJ – at my kid’s school, we have a senior/parent night, which was always an eye-opener. They ask the kids questions about what their fears are for college (it’s a college prep school, so everyone is going in that direction), what their expectations are, etc. They ask similar questions of the parents. Then, at a meeting with both parents and students, they put all the answers up together side-by-side. It was fascinating! One of the biggest fears that a lot of the kids had would that their parents would “change” their room into a guest room while they were gone!

JCT – yep, the groceries are already a major adjustment. I absolutely cannot keep enough food in the house when both husband and son are in town. When it’s just me and my daughter, we might get to the store once a week. And if it’s just me (my husband is out-of-state most of the week on a long-term project for the next year), there will be a LOT of soup and sandwiches being consumed!

Can I come for happy hour, too? :-)

Jesse's Girl

July 9th, 2009
7:47 pm

YES…..Yes you can!

nurse&mother

July 10th, 2009
1:11 am

I apologize as I did not have time to read all posts today or all week (been out of town with no access to internet).

No way would I squirrel away money secretly. My husband and I have seperate accounts and we love it. We divvy up responsibilities. We’ve never had problems with fighting over money. It may not work for others, but it works wonderfully for us.

JJ

July 10th, 2009
8:00 am

OK, happy hour party officially starts on August 17……

xavier&jaydens mom

July 10th, 2009
11:50 am

I am experiencing this right now! I have no idea how to deal with this. I just found out on yesterday my husband has a separate account with $18,000 in it….and he did not feel the need to discuss it with me.

DB

July 10th, 2009
12:57 pm

Will it be “happy” hour, or “tear-filled” hour?! heheh!

JJ

July 10th, 2009
3:09 pm

X&J’s mom – How did you find out?????

DB – BOTH!!!! But they may be tears of joy???? LOL

JJ

July 10th, 2009
3:10 pm

X&J’s Mom – Don’t get me wrong here, but could it be he has a secret account because he has already been divorced once before and the ex got everything????? So maybe he’s protecting himself…ya know?

xavier&jaydens mom

July 10th, 2009
5:02 pm

jj- I got home before he did on yesterday and the statement was in the mail! I should not have to pay for the mistakes of his ex! I am not her! All of what I am, and all of what I have goes into our household- money, time, care giving, everything! This is the ultimate slap in the face! We were already having major issues- this is just too much! I really see this as the beginning of the end.

Squirrel

July 16th, 2009
9:07 pm

Cool,I have found a place where I can share & be honest.
I have just started squirrelling away money. I do it to save a marriage.
My hubby loves to horde money as well. Feels secure with savings.
He lets me do the budgeting & have some control yet hates me giving & checks the accounts all the time.
Last year we refinanced & the pay out money was in my name. As I don’t work I forgot the value of money & spent the $40,000 on courses,health retreat,things for others,my kids,a cruise for parents. The money went!
So now I have this big bill to pay & can’t tell him as he values honesty
& it would ruin the marriage. I want us to stay together as he has lots of good attributes. So now I am learning debt management. I take extra cash out when getting petrol,or anywhwere that offers the cash out option. I redirected child payments to my account.He doesn’t notice as I still put a smaller payment in the joint account.I Have a PO Box where my mail goes.

Im given $250 a week cash for groceries. I can feed the family 3 nutritious meals a day for $150. So I put the rest to debt reduction.
The kids don’t miss out.
I don’t feel bad as I am now handling money better than before.The fright of it has shaken me up. I have a goal. I now have a part time job which I would not have got before. I can pay the debt in 2 years then I can put what I save onto the car,the mortgage & be totally debt free in less than 7 years. Then we can all benefit from my mistake!!

So I’m not doing it to buy luxuries. It is for a purpose. So far I have paid off over $4000 in a few months.
I now enjoy what I am doing,have learnt new skills, and am very thrifty!! I will keep you informed of progress.

cbc

August 7th, 2009
4:25 pm

I’ve told my married daughter that if she is smart that she will keep her savings account in her name and keep putting money into it. I’m not telling her she has to keep it hidden from her husband. But I think every woman needs her own money, that way she has the choice to be married because she wants to be married and not be married because she can’t afford to leave. This is based on experience and all the things I have seen married people go though over the years. Back when I was a young bride with stars in my eyes I probably would have thought it wrong to have different accounts also. But now it’s 30 years later and reality has set in.

Collette

September 16th, 2009
11:24 am

My husband and I have been married for 12yrs and have 4 kids together and I have 1 from a previous marriage. I’m a stay at home mom. He told me since he works and brings in the income that he should handle the bills. I have no say whatsoever. He gives me some money for groceries and gas to last 2 weeks….like an allowance. He stashes his money at work. I keep asking him why he stashes the money at work and he gets mad about it because he thinks I’m trying to control him and if I don’t have the money in my hands I go off the deep in. He has had to go into work to get money on a few emergencies cause we needed the extra money that he has there. We live about an hour from his job. In the past 2yrs he has cheated on me 5 times and the last one was an 18yr old and he is 45yrs old. He has lied to me several times. I don’t know if he is really going to work or it’s just an excuse. I don’t know what I’m suppose to do. Even his sister who I hate told me that who ever brings in the income should pay the bills etc.