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August 01, 2007


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I don't see any real issues with this. I think the gentleman that tried this was making a point and it worked. He basically made a little 3-month experiment and then told his wife about it to which she liked the idea. I assume if the wife said she was mad and didn't want him to do it again, he wouldn't have.

I could see a big issue if 9-years later, the guy took his 10% from this special account and bought a Corvette or something to that effect.

I basically do the same thing now with my situation. If I get a bonus and there are no pending bills, I place this in our brokerage account. I don't have a specific conversation telling my wife that I have a $500 bonus and that I will place $250 in the seperate account on such a such date, she trusts me and I simply go ahead and do it for OUR benefit.

I have done the same thing. I don't know how many times I have created savings accounts just to find out that they have automatically been closed because the balance was drained to zero, without my knowledge. So, I eventually setup an account and automatically funded it without my wife's knowledge. She does know about it, but it is not linked to our checking account to specifically stop her. At this point, we pay a couple of bills out of it (the mortgage, and the cars) using a 50% bi-weekly deposit method. This works out great because I sent an extra twelfth of a payment in principal each month, and then there is an extra payment sitting in the savings each year, as well. And it is also great that the average daily balance is now increased by an extra ~$1K or so, by doing this.

I do this as well and will continue to do this until retirement since my wife likes to spend money like water. I don't see a problem with my wife only knowing what my take-home (after retirement savings/emergency savings) income is. It's better that she budgets off of our take home income rather than my total paycheck before direct deposits to savings. And in the end, she'll be glad that I did so when we aren't living destitute in retirement.

I agree with the other commentors. The key is that he told his wife about it after a few months. He was trying to 'Keep the money from her' but instead was 'helping them to save together'. A very important difference and one that I totally support.

IMO - I find the idea of "Hiding money" both odd and paternalistic. What if the "hider" drops dead - will the partner of that person know where all the money is located?

Beyond that, our wives, partners and husbands deserve better than being treated like children.


Hmm. I'm going to disagree with the other commenters. I do most (all) of the finances, but I let my wife know everything that I'm doing and we discuss things before making any changes. And yes, it took a while to get my wife on board saving as much as we do and putting x dollars into debt repayments, but she's on board and it couldn't be more satisfying. I personally find it easier to save and manage our finances when I have her support to do it. Finances are the biggest sources of stress in a marriage, and our goal was to get ourselves in sync from the very start.

If the wives didn't get upset, I say that works for their marriage. Not sure my wife would be so thrilled about it. And I'd probably feel bad about doing it.

My wife and I tell each other what we spend. She just wouldn't go empty our savings account without us discussing it first, and I wouldn't either. All the financial decisions, even the little ones, are made together. Heck, we may end up talking for an hour about how we're going to allocate some sort of income to such and such bill or debt, but in the end we come to an agreement and compromise. This works best for us.

I did something similar, though initially it was for my wife's benefit. I wanted to get her a good present for her birthday, and so started a secret savings account for that purpose. I only told her about it after giving her present to her. We liked the results so well (neither of us really missed 10% of our pay) that we've kept it up.

I can only speak on my situation, but if I died, the least of my wife's worries would be finding where the JOINT account information is in our filing cabinet where all of the money I send in is in BOTH of our names. To be honest, I love showing her the monthly balance and she loves having me 'take care of it' for US. Not me, for both of us.

There are many kinds of people. Some dont mind paying 2% asset management fees for someone to take care of their money, some people like having their spouse take care of the money without knowing every detail.

I guess I can't get all that specific defending what the guy did in this example, but it sounds to me like he wanted to make a point that this 10% he had been putting away for a few months, wasn't really all that missed. Yeah, he could have told the family that they are cutting back their spending by 10%, but I think the shock and effect of the seeing an account with all that money was better served not knowing. Again, if he did it for years, you got something, but a quick little experiment is harmless IMHO.

It's different strokes for different folks, but I sure wouldn't call it odd and paint it as paternalistic.

And I am just curious...What do you guys/gals do with presents to your spouse? If EVERYTHING is out on the table, do you not have cash set aside for birthday's and Christmas? Does your spouse look online at the checking account and see that you just spent $250 at Tiffany's on December 17th and get happy because she "knows everything about the finances"? Or do you discretely pay for it on the side?

I think it's to easy to go down the path that everything should be out in the open between couples on the whole. I know my wife doesn't even care half of the time when I do tell her we are going to pay extra into savings. It's all about the situation and we all got different ones.

Actually we save up for birthdays and do know about what we will spend on each other. Big ticket items we save up for. We have "gifts" budgeted. Its usually either paid with in cash or on the credit card (which is then paid for with our budgeted money) so the other doesn't see where it was from until afterwards. Last year we decided just to get something together that we'd both enjoy.

I surprise her all the time without spending gobs of money. Sometimes with flowers and chocolates, or with a fancy romantic dinner at home (I cook). This year for her birthday we're going on a weekend getaway that we've planned for and something she's wanted to do for a while.

I guess I could just go buy expensive shiny gifts all the time, but that gets pretty old after a while.

It's probably a good idea for the short-term, to show your spouse how it's easy to save that extra amount. But carried to extremes, it's obviously the wrong thing to do. My father did exactly that - every time he got a raise, he (apparently) put the majority of it into a savings account that my mother didn't know about. It only came to light over 20 years later in their divorce proceedings (it was then split equally between them).

If you really love your spouse, you will want them to grow and learn, not just "protect" them by hiding money.

JJ, when your spouse acts like a child with money, you have no other choice.

I've done this experiment too. My spouse spends and loans money as quickly as he earns it, often sacrificing our household. He can't say no and family/friends take advantage of him. My experiment worked and my husband was dumbfounded how much I saved. Only problem is, now he knows it's there and will feel free to lend our money from other accounts and use this savings to cover bills. In the future, in order to save for "US", mums the word!!!!

It seems interesting hearing all this hiding from the wives when in my situation I'm hiding from husband! In the process of doing this I have paid off several medical bills and our back taxes, then got to treat family to nice holidays. Last time I informed him about having a savings Acct he was mad and made me close it with the savings being spent on crap, so now this time will remain secret, I just say that ive set aside money in the checking Acct and was able to pay it off.

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