16 thoughts on “JLP’s QotD: Do you hide money from your spouse?”

  1. I guess what I meant to say is that I disagree with the “experts” and accountants who dismiss “minor” secrets so nonchalantly. There are very few shades of gray in marriage…

  2. I do not have a secret account. But I think just about everyone has tried to hide or “minimize” (Telling your spouse you spent less on an item then you actually did) a purchase from their spouse at some time. This is not healthy behavior, but as humans we are prone to deceiving others and ourselves in order to indulge in unhealthy behavior.

  3. My wife probably doesn’t know all of the places I’ve got money squirreled away, she’s just not that interested. There are no secrets, she just hasn’t bothered to ask. I do feel bad for people who can’t or won’t be open and honest about their finances in a marriage, it will catch up to them at some point.

    She was (and is I assume :)) happy to be married to someone who is interested in money and taking care of the bills etc. It frees up her to spend more time doing the things she likes to do.

  4. JLP, glad to see such a good response to this article so far! No, my husband and I don’t have any secret slush funds. However I would like to comment on Personal Finance Blogger’s response. Please don’t consider it a kindness to your wife to take care of the bills so she can pursue more enjoyable interests. She has a high probability of having to “deal with” the finances for a number of years (sorry, but probably because you predecease her). So do her a real favor, and sit down and explain why you have the accounts you have, and how she can manage them in your absence (or in the best case) your incapacity. That way, she won’t be lost without you and completely unable to do the things “she likes to do.”

  5. We are extremely open, to the point where we have to allocate money for presents to each other. It may mean we don’t do monster surprise gifts, but we’re not the sort who would be into that sort of thing.

    As for accounts, we have a (encrypted) spreadsheet where all the account numbers and running balances are centralized so we can figure out our running net worth at a glance. I maintain it and we run through it at the end of each month.

  6. Foobarista, be careful what kind of ‘encryption’ you use for Excel. Excel is extremely vulnerable and provides little real protection from someone wanting to get to its data. Unless you are using some third-party (ie. non-Microsoft) software to encrypt it, it ain’t safe.

  7. OMG. I’m dying laughing at Him’s comment. I’ve got bunches of those plastic eggs for passing out candy to my friends and their kids. If he needs anymore, he can email me. 😉

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  9. Nothing hidden here either. The only difference is that he knows from memory exactly where the investments are and how much, and I would have to look them up in our spreadsheet.

  10. My fiancee (not married yet) and I have seperate accounts, but she knows where all my personal funds are, and likewise I know about hers, even though I don’t consider myself entitled to any say in what happens with them (I never even met any of the relatives she inherited that money from, for example).

    She also knows that my business has accounts offshore, but doesn’t have the access information (although she does know where I keep confidential documents). But that’s more for her protection in case the IRS decides retroactively that they don’t like the way I’ve structured my income from overseas clients.

  11. I must be the world’s biggest sucker!

    For the third time in our seven year marriage, my wife has racked up multi-thousand dollar credit card debt behind my back. This third and most recent time amounted to 53K. More than the first two times combined! The rate on some of these cards is 31% and total minimum payments are more than my mortgage.

    It is the single most dehumanizing and frustrating experience to a) find out that your spouse has lied to you repeatedly about a spending issue you thought was behind you and b) your back in the hole again for the foreseeable future. Oh yeah, and let me add c) my credit rating is in the tank too. She took out two cards in both of our names that I was not aware of. I now spend my Saturday’s following up with collections agencies and negotiating payment plans.

    I wrote it off the first time this happened as just a mistake, the second time I almost left her but decided to work it out since she swore it wouldn’t happen again, and now a third time. I regret staying because this time around we have a two year old child and this is the last thing we need.

    Here I go again, into the debts of Hell.

  12. I found some evidence that my husband might have made some investments in some mutual funds without telling me. Is there a way to find out?

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