Is It Ever Okay To Hide Money From Your Spouse?

by Danielle Pointdujour

hiding moneyI saw it all the time growing up, my grandmother squirreling away five dollars here, fifty dollars there, so that my grandfather wouldn’t find it. I even caught her slipping bills out of grandpa’s jeans pocket before church a few times and when I called her out on breaking one of the Commandments, I was met with an icy stare and a warning to mind my business.

As I got older, and bolder, I started to ask about all the secrecy going on. I mean, they were a couple, couples are supposed to share everything including money, right? Granny would shake her head and tell me that I had so much to learn about life, love and marriage.

You see according to Grams, a woman always needed to keep a “f*&k you” stash just in case her man, as granny would say “want to make his eyes pass me.” Oh island logic, gotta love it. Hiding the money just ensured that if need be she could take care of things, or herself, without needing my grandpa or any other man around. The secret stash wasn’t lying, it was more of a security blanket.

Now I’m no dumb broad so I completely understand that no matter how much you love someone, sometimes ish just goes left and that worse than things going left, is things going left with you having no plan on how to get it right again. So having your own savings independent of the relationship isn’t that bad of an idea. My issue with it is the secrecy behind it.

Relationships are about trust, point blank period. The leap of faith it takes to even begin a new relationship takes an enormous amount of trust. Now, having your own savings account is fine, but having one that is secret from your partner is not.

To me, that undermines the trust. It says that you don’t trust this person enough to provide for you, to be responsible with financial decisions, to not break your heart and leave you needing money to make a clean getaway. Having to hide money from your partner doesn’t mean you’re being smart, it simply means you don’t trust them. And if you don’t trust them, why the hell are you with them?

No one is saying to live and love blindly when you’re in a relationship, if you want to have your own savings, have it, and tell your partner about it. You don’t have to disclose how much you’re saving exactly, but you should disclose the fact that it does exist. In my opinion, if you’re going to take the leap of faith, take it whole heartedly and honestly, lying no matter the form, has no place in a relationship.

Do you think it’s okay to hide money from your partner?

  • THE RAVENS SHALL BE THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPS.

    I have no interest in marriage, but if I did I certainly wouldn’t tell the other person about all of my finances.

  • DownSouth Transplant

    Oh so true, my mum called it the hussy account, as in when your daddy gets confused and runs off with hussy, she is still will be good. She opened the credit union savings account the first month of their Marriage, she still has both (a marriage & rainy day stash) 47 yrs later,

  • SpkKay13

    I would have to say that my granny always told me, “Never let your right hand know what your left hand is doing,” when discussing finances and marriage. I have been told by countless, seasoned, married women that a woman should always keep a “Rainy Day” stash just in case. While I agree to a certain extent, I want to have a completely open and honest relationship with my significant other. While I firmly believe that a separate savings account is warranted, I feel equally as strong about my husband being able to VIEW (not withdraw funds) account balances as requested. When my significant other and I started dating, he was not too concerned with saving, future planning, etc. I on the other hand am all about financial fortitude and he has since embraced the concept as well with my encouragement. If I were to lose my mind and decide to marry someone that lacked fiscal responsibility, then by all means, the secret savings account would remain a secret. However, if both parties are serious about their future together and as individuals, the conversation about finances, expectations, etc should definitely be discussed. It is much better and wise to do so long before marriage is considered.

  • ChaCha1

    All women should have a personal account, and whether you tell, well I guess it just depends on the climate of the marriage. All I know is that if I were to tell my spouse about my stash, it would be empty. He actually knows about the account itself because I’ve told him along, long time ago, however he probably forgot, and I also don’t tell him that I actively put money into it because like I said, it would be gone within a year. I tried having a savings account where he knew how much was in it, and 6 months later, it was down from 10,000 to a less than 200.

  • E.M.S.

    No need to hide money if you agree to have separate accounts (with or without a joint one for households expenses) and that how much is in it is none of the other person’s business.

    That’s just my philosophy. Yes we’ll have to deal with bills but the rest of the money you make is yours, same goes for me.

  • Ms.Honeybelle

    I have always heard of F-You funds. Frankly I’m always down w/ a stash just in case but I would tell them just not the amount that is stashed.

  • http://www.conventionalculture.com/ ConventionalDee

    Different strokes for different folks. My husband and I have separate accounts and joint accounts. We agreed on how much to put in the joint account and the rest is our own. My husband does not inquire about my account, and I don’t ask about his. In my 1st marriage, I couldn’t keep any money. My ex blew through everything. And when things went left I had to leave with the clothes on my back, and nothing in the bank to care for my child or myself. Never again. I don’t see things turning with my 2nd husband, but I have to keep my own money for my peace of mind, and my love understands that. Thank God!

  • Granny knows all…

    Your granny is still right — you still have a lot to learn about life, love and marriage…

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    The only time I hear when people hide money from their spouse is when the other spouse is irresponsible with money or can’t hold onto money. But I kind of agree with granny…lol I think ALL people (men and women) need to have a personal nest egg (now whether it is a secret or not that is up to the couple/individual). But I do think that if you HAVE to hide and stash your money than that says a lot about the state of your marriage and the person you married.

  • Elessar

    I’m with all of the lovely ladies here who have separate accounts. My parents take care of an agreed upon budget together and then keep the rest of their money in separate accounts. You should always have your own money, both for security – in the event of the marriage going the way of all flesh before, well, the flesh does – and for a degree of independence within the marriage. Also, for my mother, her inheritance was a big part of the need for it. She inherited quite a bit from her parents and they would have never wanted that money going into a shared account where my father could buy a few sweaters with it.

  • justanotheropinion

    ConventionalDee – I’m with you on this. My secret account allowed me to leave my ex husband, with a 6 & 2 yr old in tow, and not have to worry about getting my own place. I didn’t start out thinking things might go sideways, but it did. Glad I had the foresight (in the good times) to think it might not be a bad idea to have something on the side NO ONE knew about. You NEVER know what twists and turns your life may take. I learned a long time ago to prepare for the worst while expecting the best. You just never know….

  • Truth.com

    Good thing you have no interest in being married because that mindset is a recipe for divorce.

  • victoria

    It’s not only women who keep separate accountsand assets – let’s not forget this.

  • THE RAVENS SHALL BE THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPS.

    Someone having knowledge of all of your finances is a recipe for disaster.

  • dirtychai

    “Having to hide money from your partner doesn’t mean you’re being smart, it simply means you don’t trust them. And if you don’t trust them, why the hell are you with them?”

    This line just irks me. How many women marry completely trusting of their spouse and only to have it go sour later in life? Human beings are flawed, we change, we betray trust. Keeping aside money, especially if it’s money you’ve earned yourself, is not hiding — it’s insurance.
    My mother shared everything with my stepfather: her inheritance, the the child-support money, money from her hourly wage part-time jobs — she even told him about the secret account she tried to keep, which he drained, btw (all $250 of it). Today she has to practically beg him for $40.00 to put gas in her car and is stuck in an unhappy marriage due to having no money. There was no way for her to predict this outcome 21 years ago when she first married. Just like no one buys a new car planning to get into an accident, but you cover it with insurance because stuff happens.

  • Billy Paul

    A valid prenup can allow the parties to agree to such accounts and their related contributory limits. Hence, one need not seek secret accounts to combat against their spouse’s potential to seek secret passion.

    Carry on, Family.

  • Mademoiselle

    I don’t know about *hiding* money, but I most certainly plan to keep my own (non-joint) money separate and untouchable from my husband. I believe the only money we need to both have full access to are the moneys we put into our household expenses account, our emergency fund, and our big purchases/household dreams account. All other money should reside with the person that earned it. (If we’re in a stay at home parent situation, then the income coming in would be subject to whatever sharing agreement that allows the SAHP to still maintain financial autonomy).

  • Shirl

    I’m torn on this one. Especially about hiding money from my husband. I understand having separate accounts. He doesn’t have to know whats in mine and I dont have to know what’s in his but I have to think about how I’d feel if he had some secret account and was actually hiding money from me. I guess I’d be a little hurt because I know why I’m in this marriage and would never do anything to hurt him.

  • THE RAVENS SHALL BE THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPS.

    A prenup won’t stop someone from forging a check in your name, now will it? Besides, infidelity isn’t the only reason marriages end in divorce.

  • newlywed

    It has less to do with trust issues and more to do with knowing the ways of your spouse mixed with a double shot of foresight. A woman who marries a saver (fiscally responsible) can feel comfortable sharing account details. However, a woman who knows her hubby is a spender literally cannot afford to let him know specifics about any reserved funds, especially when kids are involved. A bit of secrecy can work in favor of the family should those secret funds be needed.

    100% honesty is a romantic ideal just like the idea that there is a husband guaranteed to every woman with ideas on what she wants marriage to be like. This is not a concept of black and white. There are absolutely shades of gray.

  • http://www.be-quoted.com bequoted

    I am both married and cool with stashing away funds. I actually don’t think of it as “hiding money” so much as saving money. What’s out of sight is out of mind. Easier to save money when one doesn’t know it exists.

  • isola

    The women I have known to hide their money had husbands who were financially irresponsible. Sometimes it is done to protect the family’s assets.

  • mEE

    “hiding money” is one thing. that speaks to an element of mistrust in your relationship. I don’t see anything wrong with having a joint account and two separate accounts that the other person is well aware of.

    growing up I never knew money in relationships was a big deal. my mother dealt with all the money. she could have bled my father dry and he wouldn’t know any better. he got paid every other Thursday. he’d cash his check at the bank, give her the money, she’d take out what she needed for bills and other misc. things, and give him what was left. it was simple and uncomplicated. my father has a checking account that he’s never actually used, credit cards, etc because my mother keeps them in her wallet.

    on the flip side, I was shocked when I asked my ex-boyfriend what I considered a harmless question about how much money he got back in taxes and he looked at me like I had five heads. he was SUPER secretive about his money, to the point where I felt uncomfortable. he wouldn’t even tell me his salary, and this is after dating for 3 years. that definitely played a role in why we aren’t together anymore.

  • cb

    she sure does, when LIFE enters the picture…she will learn

  • cb

    Men have been doing this for centuries,your husband has a secret account

  • http://crystalspraggins.blogspot.com/ Crystal Spraggins

    My husband and I have different money personalities and separate accounts. I grew up poor and money definitely represents a kind of security to me. Also, I am a “rules” girl and like to pay my bills on time all the time. My husband couldn’t care less about money and is not that responsible with bills and such, so when he gets paid the bulk of his check gets deposited into my account and I pay all the bills. He gets his mad money (I don’t care how he spends it), and I have what I need from him (along with my own earnings) to operate the household. This has worked for us for more than two decades.

    But, I do have a related question—I collect antique jewelry and my husband knows about my hobby but he has no idea how many pieces I have or what they’re really worth (a lot). I‘m not deliberately hiding the information per se, but I’m not volunteering it either, and honestly, he seems pretty indifferent. Is that “hiding” money?

  • Mademoiselle

    I can understand where your ex is coming from. No man that I’ve ever dated knows how much I make/made. I’ve had a couple try and guess, but I’m kind of young for my position, so they tended to guess low (also could’ve been b/c I’m a woman), and I would just let them run with their assumptions. The purpose is to not let money influence how they treat me and whether they stick around. One in particular struck me as the type of man who saw marriage as a financial strategy because he was constantly complaining about how he had to work 2 jobs just to afford his overpriced mortgage and bills, and calling his ex disloyal because, even though she made more money than him, she wouldn’t split his bills with him or quit splurging on herself after he coerced her into moving into his house (under the guise of him taking care of her every whim, no less), etc. etc. I just knew he’d be tabulating my cash flow every week if I ever told him what I made, and I’m not having that with someone who’s just my boyfriend. That scenario goes hand in hand with the men I’ve met who want to beat the “head of household” drum with nothing to prove to me that they wouldn’t take me down the rollercoaster of bankruptcy, yet want to convince me that simply being men better qualifies them to make all the financial decisions than me. I take my fear of poverty too seriously to fall for that. My stance is we’ll discuss finances when we start planning to be husband and wife, no sooner.

  • Jaslene

    damn girl that is sad. glad you mentioned one time and never again.

  • Jaslene

    Lol @ where my father could buy a few sweaters with it. Did you grandparents dislike your father?

  • http://gravatar.com/lovegiraffes onegirl

    @Mademoiselle,
    I am totally with you on when it’s appropriate to divulge your financial status to a mate. I also have a fear of poverty, and I’m not really sure where it comes from as I’ve never been poor. I’ve always worked (paper route, babysitting, reading books for quarters), so maybe I feel the need to work so I am not poor. *shrug*

  • Shirl

    It’s a Damned good thing you know my husband -_-

  • apple

    i call it “insurance” ..you never know what can happen

  • EST. 1986 (Go Ravens)

    I agree. A woman has to protect herself. And, if you are one who has grown up in an environment where money has always been an issue, then it is much easier to understand why one wouldn’t make someone else privy to their entire financial picture.

  • mEE

    I understand where you’re coming from. he has a similar view on money and finances and because my view was the total antithesis it just didn’t work. my parents were so liberal when it came to discussing finances. I knew how much bother my parents made on their bi-weekly checks by the time I was a pre-teen. I also knew exactly how much they spent on bills, groceries, household expenses, etc. while that made me hyper aware of money (in a way that might not have been particularly healthy), it also made me feel like it wasn’t such a big deal to talk about it.

    I just couldn’t get past what I considered secrecy (I’m sure he didn’t look at it that way) because I felt like he didn’t trust me. or that he thought I wanted his money or something.

  • http://www.curlycrazy.com CurlyCrazy

    I definitely feel where your grandma is coming from. I plan to be married to my husband forever, but I also have my personal savings. He knows it’s there, but we don’t discuss it much. I hope I never have to use it, but it just makes me feel more secure to know it’s there.

    My husband is a wonderful, loving, and devoted man but you never know what will happen. Everything is going good right now, but people change, relationships change. Somewhere down the line he may fall out of love with me, or I may fall out of love with him, or he may cheat on me or leave me for another woman, etc.. And I never want to be stuck in a bad situation just because I can’t afford to leave. I’ve seen it happen to other people and I don’t want that to be me.

    If I recall correctly, the divorce rate here in the states is somewhere around 50%, so as much as I love my husband and think we’ll be together forever, I also know that 50% of the time things don’t work out as planned for whatever reason. I’m sure when those 50% were newlyweds they thought they’d be married forever too. I’m not perfect, neither is my husband, so I’m not going to pretend like it can’t happen to us, and if it does I know I’ll be alright. And if we grow old and grey together and I haven’t needed to use that money, we can put it toward our retirement or leave it for our kid’s inheritance.

    That being said, we also have a joint savings account and I think my husband may have a personal savings account as well. I don’t know, and frankly, as long as he’s still taking care of things at home, I really don’t care if he has an account he’s not telling me about.

  • bawizee

    Crystal,
    Just because someone is indifferent doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still respect them. Ask yourself if he really will be indifferent if he knew the total value of your jewelry. Also, if the tables were turned, how will you feel.

    Just my thoughts :)

  • CanV

    @The Ravens shall…

    You really don’t need to be married. You have some MAJOR trust issues. When you pick someone to marry hopefully most people have enough sense to marry thieves or someone who would forge a check.

  • Mademoiselle

    I agree with your parents’ method, too. I believe being a little transparent with kids about the family finances prepares them for how to manage their finances as adults. The big difference is marriage and having access as a member of the nuclear family. Visibility to finances are marital privileges IMO, so a boyfriend wouldn’t be entitled.

  • EST. 1986 (GO RAVENS)

    I did not suggest that one would need to be married for someone to forge a check in his or her name. Likewise, one can marry a person who is not a thief or forges checks, but one can also marry one who does and this information not come out until later.

  • http://aol Greta Shelton

    I trusted my husband and marriage too much. After 21 years he wanted a younger model and left my honest self broke and without any income of my own. I wish I had done what this grandmother did. I would have been much better off. High 5 to G’ma.

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