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Well, I'd say that it would be well nigh impossible for my husband to commit financial infidelity. I am in charge of all things financial as he is completely pathetic at things like, oh, paying bills. Or saving money. We are pretty tightly stretched, though, so neither one of us is able to spend much on frivolous things, but I check the bank account online constantly, so I always know whatever he's been up to, often before I even get home from work! He doesn't seem to care - I don't grill him or constantly second-guess his purchases. Whenever I think he's "wasting" our money, I try to visualize some of my purchases from his perspective, and I think we're pretty much equal in terms of buying stuff that isn't strictly necessary. I am pretty truthful about what I've spent on things, maybe just shaving off a hair here and there. To me, financial infidelity suggests a major, major lack of trust in the relationship, so yeah, I'd say it's a pretty big deal, but I don't think it's worse than actual marital infidelity. Unless someone actually like swindled their partner out of house and home! Yikes!

I handle all finance in this house. I have degrees in finance and insurance so dh thinks I should do it all. Which is fine because I can't imagine not knowing how much we have, where it is, etc. I know how much dh makes. I do our taxes, I choose both of our 401k investments. Dh's head would explode if he had to do those things. It just not in him!

I have an acquaintance whose ex-husband had gotten a secret credit card and used it to run up about $20,000 in debt buying war memorabilia on eBay or something like that. And a friend of mine has a friend whose husband remortgaged the house and spent many thousands of dollars on who-knows-what.

We share everything financially, but most importantly, we share the same philosophy about saving and spending, the same aversion to debt. I handle the checkbook and get the bills paid, and neither of us hides what we buy.

We have his, mine, and ours accounts. I am in charge of mine and ours. We both contribute to "ours" from our individual accounts to cover household expenses, and whatever we have left is ours to do with as we please. Our savings and retirement comes out of our checks automatically, and I usually put a chunk of my leftovers into savings. DH has no idea how much is in there, and he doesn't really care. We're starting to pay the bills together twice a month so he sees what worries me about his (sometimes outrageous, in my opinion) spending. Money is our biggest issue; we fight over it more than anything else. I have access to all of his account information online, and would be glad to give him access to mine, but he doesn't seem to care. I transfer his share of "his" account to "ours" every paycheck and that's that. It's very weird. But it works for us.

I have my "secret account" which he now knows about - bummer - which I am squirreling for my overseas holiday next year. Then I have my salary from which I have to pay for everything that I want to buy, i.e. clothes, waxes, hair, movies, coffees and then I have a cash allowance from dearest every Monday for food and cleaning materials. If I want to buy anything for the house or birthday gifts then I slap it on the card for his account. I buy stuff on the card for myself as well but he keeps an IOU and nags me constantly about when am I repaying it.
I know what he earns, not how much he has saved but do know that with his CA mind there ain't much chance of him getting us into trouble. He is very responsible and I love that otherwise we would be living above the Spar if he allowed me to look after the finances! You must earn a fortune with all the expenses you are covering!!

I know exactly how much hubby brings home each week and I think he knows mine. Our accounts are all joint but hubby doesn't have a clue as to what is in them half the time. He'll ask me for an update once in a while. I handle all the finances as he doesn't want to have anything to do with them which is good because he is the spender and I am the saver. He says that if it wasn't for me we would be living in a box and he's probably right. Every so often he'll get a bee up is a$$ and want to know where the money is going. Then I sit him down with the check book and we go over exactly where all the money is going. That settles him down for another couple of months.

We have a joint checking account and I have a savings account. I pay all the bills and track every dime spent online. He has access to our account online, as well, but generally doesn't bother. When we bought our house three years ago, I took over all the bills and we have been much better off because of it. We both like to spend on ourselves, but I am BY FAR the more responsible one for savings, 401Ks, etc. I don't think it would be possible for him to steal from us, and I hope I'm never proven wrong by that statement!

I am doing this. The guilt is killing me and I am getting deeper and deeper. I am trying to dig out so that I can be an honest person again

I hate myself

This is so fantastic, to see how many women here are in charge of the family finances! Unfortunately neither my husband nor myself is good at keeping up with money. He's a spender, I'm a saver. I have had to learn in our 8 years of marriage how to let go, otherwise we would fight about money ALL THE TIME. I have decided to take over the bills and budget, because he sucks at it!

I was just reading something about this recently, and I learned that one major way that women hide their expenditures is by buying gift cards at the grocery store (I don't know how widespread this is, but in the States, many grocery stores sell gift cards for other businesses: Pottery Barn, Gap, etc.) The cost just shows up as part of the grocery bill. I wouldn't do this--but it still struck me as absolutely brilliant.

Well, I don't actually earn a salary (gulp) - but I do work bloody hard in the house and with our kids. So, we have a joint account, and we each have a credit card. I do all the finances and pay the bills etc, and he doesn't actually look at the accounts but he could easily if he wanted to! I like that he trusts me. We both buy little things occasionally without any prior discussion, and we both turn a blind eye to these!! :) If either of us wants something *big* (more than $100, usually) then we run it past the other first, just to be open about it. We only use the credit card for emergencies, I wouldn't buy something big on it without telling him.

Very interesting that you should bring this up as our financial situation is similar to yours but I just found out my other half had a secret stash aside from the secret stash I already know about. I think a secret stash is okay, but add to this he made a MAJOR purchase without fully discussing it with me and I was worried sick about finances for days until he came clean about the Other secret stash. His excuse for the major purchase was "We discussed it honey, remember?" We discussed it and I thought it wasn't a good idea at present, but he made it anyway. Then when I told him my worries he confessed to the Other secret stash. I felt like it was a slap in the face, because if a person can keep that kind of secret from a partner, it opens up the door for all kinds of secrets. It is like cheating in a way. I am very hurt and I am the type who believes in being honest no matter what.

Our setup is exactly the same as Orange's:

"We share everything financially, but most importantly, we share the same philosophy about saving and spending, the same aversion to debt. I handle the checkbook and get the bills paid, and neither of us hides what we buy."

Also, I don't know if a swindle is worse than a smooch. Both might be on the same, awful level in my book - showing a complete lack of integrity and destroying trust in a relationship.

I'm in charge of our finances, too. And I hate it. I wish dh did it with me so I could be held more accountable. I don't spend huge sums (since we don't have huge sums) but I'll spend $50 here and there that I really shouldn't but I'm addicted to Etsy.

My husband doesn't have the slightest clue about how to balance a checkbook or pay bills. We have a joint account, I have a checking account of my own, and he has a checking account for his business. I balance all three. Luckily the only business expense he has to worry about comes out automatically from his acct. The joint account he puts money into for household bills, groceries, etc. My account is mine alone--I pay the mortgage and he doesn't really ask about the rest.

He tells me about everything he spends, but he usually makes much larger purchases than I do..$1500 here and there. I make smaller purchases and have to admit to not telling him about all of them. If he balanced the checkbook it might be different...then he would need to know.

If he does get upset about the amount of money in our joint account, I invite him to sit down while I write out bills so he can see where it's going..that usually calms him down--he can see then that I'm not going crazy with it...

Of course--we're not hurting financially in any way--so that probably makes a difference in how we are pretty laid back (for the most part) about spending, etc...

When I was married (currently getting divorced) I let my husband control the finances 100%. I never went without anything, as long as I told him what I was going for. I trusted him 100% that everything was in order as far as the expenses were concerned because I didn't particularly want to do it - I see shapes and colours, put numbers in front of me I pull a blank. I have since gone through the "personal files" and noticed how much money was being used on rubbish (like gambling) and feel like such an idiot. I agree with you Tertia, financial deception is worse than a smooch. I'm so worried now that when the divorce goes through I am going to be stuck with half the debt he ran up...

I do all the finances, but hubby and I are 100% open about everything. He chooses not to log on and transact on line, becuase it is easier for him to call me and ask me to transfer/pay etc.

That said, we are severly cash strapped at the mo, so niether on of us could possibly have a "stash" - there just is not enough to spare. :-) Fun times, fun times!

I don't even know exactly how much *I* earn, so don't ask me about hubby's... It's not that we earn tons, we're tight on money every month, but I do know we can manage our expenses. We have seperate accounts and seperate saving accounts, but we both have online access to all of them. So we transfer a lot if necessary, it's in fact one little pile of money we both use. Hubby keeps more track of it than I do though.
We have the same philosophy about money: we're not big savers nor big spenders, we do have our occasional unnessecary-but-wanted stuff buyings, and we talk about everything, so no secret buys.

I would NOT like a swindle...

We have always had both salaries deposited into the same a/c so we've always had 'our' money as opposed to 'his' and 'hers'. My husband has not worked for some years now and although it is now only me earning, the same still applies. At this point he manages the cash card for all household expenses and our 'Rose', and I pay all the biggies on-line. I did have a private stash a little while ago which he didn't know about - but I'm no good at secrets so it came out later when we needed to pay for something. Not sure if financial infidelity would be worse - the thought of him being with someone else would totally mess with my head. Find it interesting how many women do the finances ... my Mom did not have the faintest clue how to manage money and yet now with my Dad having had a stroke she's had to learn in her old age and often says she wished she'd been more involved early on. So yay girls - we're keeping ourselves prepared for our old age.

Just in case you don't =have those old photos lying around, or just want to be a different class year:

I have vowed to never end up like my mother. My dad went behind her back and took out another mortgage on the house to pay for a business he ran into the ground a year later, ran up credit card after credit card to keep the business going, bought cars without her knowing until they were in the driveway, and asked her to co-sign on a loan for a semi truck (which he now drives for income). She keeps a savings account that he can't access (which he has asked her for money and she rightfully said 'no') and is getting ready to retire and is fearful that without her income, they won't survive because of all the debt he's gotten them into after 30 years.

So, seeing all the shit going down at home, I am very open with my husband about money and he is with me. We both know the status of all our accounts and have grown out of arguing over money (even if we don't have it).

Thanks for showing us how we DON'T want live Mom and Dad!

Is a good question this.... Noid and I are not married.. yet we may as well be since we live together and share a life on every level.. financially I do know what he earns, he knows what I earn... but although our expenses overlap, up to now it has been pretty seperate. He would like us to have a joint account... I am not sure why this concerns me purely because I am not his wife? I am still trying to work that out in my head.

I made the mistake of thinking that my credit card debt was mine and mine only. I didn't think it had anything to do with my husband.When my husband found out how much debt I was in he felt that I had betrayed him. I ended up having to file for Bankruptcy and our marriage was ruined beyond repair. The filing had no financial effect on him since everything we owned was under his name only. Our sex life was over since he felt such a deep sense of betrayal. He's had a hard time trusting me and I guess I don't blame him. I wanted to go to counseling but he refused so needless to say we will be getting a divorce once my daughter finishes school. I regret what I did and I couldn't apologize enough but I guess in his mind it was as if I had betrayed him with another person. So my advice to anyone that is in a similar situation is to come clean and get help if your spouse is unforgiving. Hopefully you'll have better luck than I have.

My partner and I each have our own checking, savings, money market, and IRA accounts that we contribute to each month, and then there is a joint checking account that we each have access to. We each put a certain percentage of our monthly salary into the joint account and that is how we pay for things we both use, i.e. the mortgage, utilities, house stuff, groceries, etc. The leftover money goes into our own individual accounts and that is what we use for our individual cars, gas, clothes, and other individual purchases. Vacations and things usually come from the joint account but involve a few months of higher-than-usual contributions before we can afford it. We don't have any secret stashes, but I think that's typical of two chatty women -- we know WAY more about each other's details than is probably good for us. :)

Anyway, this system works well for us. The only beef I have is that I would rather we each put a set AMOUNT into the joint account per month rather than a percentage, as I make more than she does and would then be able to save more/buy more fun stuff. :) However, I don't want to short-change her either, so I'm not sure it is quite fair either way. What do you guys think is more fair? Any suggestions?


Barring all cases of bipolar psychological disorders or extreme domestic abuse, HIDING DEBT from your spouse is in the SAME category as CHEATING! It is a deception, a breach of trust on the same scale. No, your spouse does not run the risk of bringing home cooties, or getting some bimbo knocked-up as in the case of an adulterous affair. However, your spouse will most likely bring home hardship, disgrace, instability, struggle, distrust, great expense, and the ringing of bill collectors all day and all night. Oh yeah, and don’t forget all of the missed opportunities that go by while your working two jobs to pay back credit card companies at 29% interest. Worth it? C'mon people, has the collective character of our great country stooped so low in recent times? Are unnecessary goods, services, and keeping up with the Jones of more importance than the psychological, financial, and emotional stability within your very home?

I am what you would call a saver. This is the fashionable distinction to make these days; either you’re a SPENDER or a SAVER...whatever. Let me just say that I think this distinction is a load of crap. Either you are a responsible adult accountable for your actions, or you are behaving like an out of control child. The laws of money are based on simple mathematics that you learned in grade school. Apply them and you will reap success, forgo them and you will suffer more or less like those other fools out there right now getting foreclosed on. The banks and credit card companies don’t care how emotionally needy you were while you drank your $6 latte’s, bought a hummer, or just had to impress the neighbors with this, that, and the other thing. Unless you file for bankruptcy, you are basically on the hook, a slave to the lender. And another thing, the banks and lenders are smarter than you, they hire finance MBAs and PhDs who will work 80hrs per week figuring out how to get you in debt and keep you there.

How do I know this – EXPERIENCE. I was married to just such a person; she duped me three times in our 8yr marriage. Each time with a promise to change and that it would never happen again. I bailed us out of it each time, and when enough time went by and I let my guard down, she did it again. This third and final time I am forced to file bankruptcy, attempt to sell my house in a down market (all offers have been less than I paid for the home), my credit is ruined because she put my name on some of the cards which she never intended to pay, and to forfeit all of the sweat equity that I put into this home over the past four years of back breaking renovations that were done on nights and weekends after my 60 hour work week.

I've told my husband when we got married: "my stuff's my stuff, your stuff's now my stuff". I just love stuff as well! ;-)

I am guilty of financial infidelity. I do all the bills in our household and for the longest time, my wife did not want to be apart of it. We have been married for over 15 years, and maybe, on a couple of ocassions she has attempted to be part of the bill paying process, but she quickly lost interest. Everything was going well until a few years ago. A series of events led me down the road of not being truthful about our finances. At that time, I was spending a lot of money drinking and going out. We attempted marriage counseling because of our lack of communication but that fizzled out. I used the credit cards as a crutch because she was not there for me emotionally. I needed her more then because of I had lost my father. We live far from family and the only person I could turn to was not there for me. I sought relief in the bottle and going out. During that time, I made sure all bills were paid and current. I succeeded until late last year. We made some major purchases during that time that I wished we hadn't made. I was okay with the purchases because I was spending behind her back. I know what I did was wrong, but I felt justified in my spending. She does not know how much debt we are in and I am having difficulty telling her. I love her more than anything in the world, but I have screwed up. We have to file for bankruptcy so she will find out. I don't think she will be able to recover from this. My fear is that she will want to file for divorce. At this point, I probably deserve it. Thanks for letting me share my LIVING HELL.

In response to Emily's story about "rubbish" such as gambling I am going through a similar situation. Although we are not divorced and I am resolved to commit to keeping the marriage intact my problems are partially my own. I ignored too long my wifes financial cheating(gambling) and lying and she has now plunged us back into debt after more than 20 years being debt free. If couples don't think that money can change your feelings for ones mate especially if financial indescretion is involved think again. We have a joint checking account, she hid statements and got loud if I wanted to see it, refused to share information about where "her" money goes. The money I make and contribute to retirements, household expenses, savings is "ours", the money she makes is "hers". Trying to change her now is "difficult to impossible" at best. When you are married or in a committed relationship, household income is "ours" left over money is play money divided equally. We have been married over 30 years and I trusted her judgement completely. Financial cheating in marriage especially after a long one is mentally devastating.

I am now in the shocked stage, having just discovered financial infidelity. My husband and I have been married only 4 years. We have both been married before. I found out a year into the marriage that he lied about his bank accounts..he said he had money, but it tunred out he did not. He also said he had no debt, but there was almost 35k he fessed up to. We worked hard to get past it, and make plans for the future. I worked hard in helping him pay down his debt, and he was so sweet about it, I really thought we would be fine and this was a little bump in the road. Last night I discovered he had 2 other credit cards for alost 36k in debt. I am devastated! he said he wanted to buy stuiff for his kids and go out with friends, and did not want me to get all up in his face about his spending. He said he had no idea he was so in debt. I am married to a financial nighmare, and I am the one with all the home equity and retirement funds..he has nothing becuase he spent it all. We are not speaking and he is now claimiing it was my nagging and not wanting to have fun that out him in this predictimemt! I am unsure of where or what to do...
I agree a affair woudl have been less painful, but when you lie about your finances, it means you lie about your future...and of course creates distrust..what should I believe anymore...?

i know this was a long time ago but i need to ask what 'joint' account these people have...in sa you dont get a joint account anymore the account is in one persons name and the other has signingpower. my husband and i have signing power on each others accounts but its pretty usless cos the branches always have a problem with it... we have been through two failed businesses and while we both work for ourselves sort of now i never know exactly what he is earning which irritates me becouse he almost self subconciously lies about it and lands up stressing me out becouse i cant make up the money.
The past three years have been a nightmare financially, emotonally and more we very nearly left one another becouse of it.
We have decided to do something a little unconventianal but becouse our accounts are constantly in arrears we now draw out our cash as we get it...we have a safe and envelopes markes with our expenses ie 'rose', 'schoolfees' 'rent' etc and this is working a bit better we always knowhow much more we need to get
now he just has to stop lying about which client is paying him and things may take a bigger turn up

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