The following is a guest post from Victoria at Lend Not Borrow. Thanks for the contribution!
I’m not married but I’ve been involved in conversations with married men and women who claim they hide money from their spouse. In the beginning I thought this level of “infidelity” was a rare and unusual thing, but the more I observe the more I see it is a common thing.
As a matter of fact, many married individuals who hide money from their spouse don’t see it as an issue, just as a way to secure a financial cushion for themselves. I think we’ve all heard women laugh at hiding purchases from their husbands and it seems like the stakes have gotten higher. So the question is, do YOU hide money from your spouse? And if so, why?
Do You Hide Money?
I went around and began asking married individuals (some I knew and some were strangers) if they had money hidden from their spouse. I believe I got the most truthful information from the strangers and not so truthful from those I knew. One coworker I asked stated he doesn’t hide money and if he DID he would still say he didn’t. Most of the people who stated they didn’t hide money also included that they know someone who does. My observation concluded that there are more people who hide money in some form than not.
Reasons to Hide Money
Once I asked the question of “do you hide money?” I then asked “why”. I got various answers but the most common were “because he/she spends so much money I need a cushion they don’t know about” or “the money I had prior to us getting married is mine only- they have no rights to that.”
Now I know Dave Ramsey would cringe at these responses. If you have ever listened to the Dave Ramsey show, you would know that his response to “financial infidelity” (his words, not mine) is forbidden and leads to divorce. As I speak to these individuals, however, I find that some have been married for 20+ years and don’t hide the funds to be malicious, but to create a savings and a cushion from their spending fanatic spouse.
Where is the Money?
Of course I had to ask where the secret stash of money is located! Many people have separate accounts their spouse don’t know about. Others stash the money the old fashioned way in a cookie jar or under a mattress somewhere. I asked what would happen if something happened that the spouse would need to access the funds. Many just shrugged their shoulder or gave me the I-never-thought-of-that-before look.
As I do research on the subject I see the concept of hiding money is parallel to hiding assets and divorce (so maybe Dave Ramsey has a point). I personally don’t agree about hiding money from a spouse BUT I also know that every situation is personal and unique. People respond based off of the reality and perception of their situation.
I am always interested to see how people view this topic- so please share your thoughts. When do you think it is ok to hide money from a spouse?
Crystal’s Comments: I completely understand protecting yourself, but my opinion is that it is hard to stay married to anyone you have to protect yourself from. So no, I do not hide money from Mr. BFS. If I ever felt like I had to, I would be supremely worried about our future together period.
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!