Do you already work full-time and earn a fairly equal salary to your spouse? Or have you been a homemaker for the past 15 years without any other source of income other than your spouse’s paycheck? Does your spouse give you free and open access to all of the accounts, or does your spouse avoid financial discussions at all costs? Do you trust your spouse’s spending habits, or have disagreements regarding budgets and money been a sore point in your marriage?
Sometimes those we love make some questionable decisions, and we have to decide if we can see it through and help them or if it’s the final straw. If you decide to push through the obstacles present in your relationship, it can still be a good idea to create a safe and discreet place where you can save money from your spouse. Saving your own money like this can help the rest of your family and also allow you to manage expenses independently. Here are a few methods you could follow:
Take an active role in the finances
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of whether you should start hiding money, you may take a more active part in your family's finances to protect yourself. In many households, one spouse is responsible for all "money-related" responsibilities, such as balancing the checkbook, paying bills, and investing money. If you are not actively involved in the money as a spouse, you should take efforts to get more involved. Be aware of your spouse's income (including commissions and bonuses) and whether or not his job offers stock options or other business perks. Being more involved in the finances will prevent you from being completely in the dark if you end up divorcing and having to divide assets.
Get your personal credit card
Only consider getting a credit card if you can actually support the credit. Having a credit card in your own name, rather than using your spouse, means that you will be gaining your own credit score. So, in case of a separation or divorce, you would have your own credit score separate from your spouse so you could re-establish good financial relationships with banks after your separation.
However, if you don’t want your spouse to hear about this credit card, there are a few things to be aware of. Firstly, you must register the credit card at your home address; this is federal law. You can change this later; just be prepared to grab that letter as it comes through the letterbox.
Rent a safe deposit box
There is the option to rent a safe deposit box at practically every major bank, and the contents are kept secret. Correct; not even bankers are permitted to know the contents of the box. There are websites that advise against hiding cash in a safe deposit box, even if it's not against the law in your country/state.