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I joke around with my wife all the time about her sketchiness. She always seems to buy me great presents that never show up on the credit card bill. When I ask her how she affords it, she usually gives a smile and a wink before she walks away. I joke around and tell her one of these days I’m going to find out where she keeps her shady slush fund.
All jokes aside, my wife doesn’t really have a shady slush fund. She has a personal Paypal account that she created before we were married, and I never really knew about. She insists that every time we buy something online, that we use Ebates. That way, a check gets deposited into her Paypal account quarterly.
My wife also likes to hustle and has made a bit of money selling items (mainly clothes) on eBay. On top of that, she loves finding designer clothes at consignment and thrift stores. After she’s done wearing an item, she lists it on eBay and makes a tidy profit that gets deposited into her Paypal account.
Although what she really loves is when she finds original-tagged items. Because of course, people are willing to pay a premium for items that still have the tags on them. Who doesn’t love something new and unworn??
Thrift Store Win
Recently, she found two ties, one of which retails for around $80 and the other, $100. The one retailing around $80 still had its original tags. She bought each for $0.99 a piece. The more expensive tie looked nice, but it wasn’t my style. She ended up giving it to her father, but she planned to resell it on eBay if he did not like it. Hopefully she will make a few bucks when she sells the one with tags soon!
So, the money in her Paypal account generated from Ebates and eBay has created a slush account. As I mentioned before, she uses this account to mainly buy gift or sometimes withdraw extra cash to have on-hand.
I honestly have no idea how much she makes a month, and I’m not even sure she knows most of the time. We don’t factor her Paypal money into our budget since it normally ebbs and flows depending on how busy/motivated that she is to hustle for the month.
With that said, I was recently reading a study done by Princeton Research Associates for CreditCards.com, which said that 7.2 million Americans (4.4 million men and 2.8 million women, to be precise) have a bank account or credit card that their spouse or live-in partner doesn’t know about.
According to the latest stats, there are 123 million people that are married in the US. Based on 7 million people having secret accounts, this means that 6% of the married population is hiding a credit card or bank account from their spouse. Interestingly enough, more men have secret bank accounts than women.
Personally, I’ve only known women that have had secret slush funds and credit cards that their spouses didn’t know about. One woman told me that she was going to create a slush fund when she got married because she wanted to have enough money to have plastic surgery when she got older so that she could “stay pretty”.
At the time, I remember thinking that seems weird that she was going into the marriage with the plan to hide something from her husband. But now that I think of it, does she really think that she’ll be able to get plastic surgery and recover before her future husband finds out? Probably not. I have a feeling that secret account won’t stay very secret when that surgery happens.
Financial Transparency in Marriage
Now I want to be perfectly clear, I’m not saying that individuals going into a marriage shouldn’t have the ability to spend the money that they earn in a way that they see fit. I’m just not a big fan of hiding money in order to buy things that you want in the future. If you and your future spouse can’t discuss money issues before marriage, that raises a big red flag in my book.
I know one couple that talked and talked about money before they got married. But even they had money issues to deal once they were married. They were both right out of college and dirt poor. There was no money to be spent. However, each of them seemed to buy something that would get on the other person’s nerves.
The husband would get mad at his wife whenever she would pick up a little goody like nail polish. She justified that she was trying to look pretty for him. However, she would get annoyed when he would ditch his brown bag lunch to go out with the boss for lunch. He would try to justify that he was networking and trying to move up more quickly within the company.
As most people know, that first year of marriage can be a little rough. And of course, they brought two different mindsets to the marriage. They kept bumping heads until they decided that they should create a slush fund in their budget. That allowed each of them to spend $100 however they saw fit. After that, they had some initial grumblings about the way the other person decided to spend their money. But over time this disappeared, and this strategy worked for them.
Our Financial Dialogue
My wife and I discussed trying a slush fund, but neither one of us is a big spender. On top of that, we don’t tend to get hung up on the smaller purchases. The only time my wife gets mad at me is when I forget to use Ebates before I make a purchase. Otherwise, I can look back at my Personal Capital account and see that our expenses stay within $100 of the median except for months that we go on vacation.
The one decision that we did make though was to talk about all purchases that were going to exceed $100. Not being a big spender, it’s a rare occasion when I see something and decide that I really need it. My wife, on the other hand, enjoys shopping, but gravitates towards thrift/consignment stores, etc.
So even if my wife really did have a secret slush fund, I’m not sure what she would even use it for, since she’s not a big spender. She is so low maintenance, and it’s incredibly refreshing to me. I use to joke around before I got married that there was only going to be one high-maintenance person in my relationship, and it was going to be me. Well I definitely lucked out because I am undoubtedly the high-maintenance one in our marriage 🙂
Readers, do you have a secret bank account that your spouse doesn’t know about? As I ask that, I wonder how many will actually admit to it on the off-chance that their spouse somehow stumbles upon these comments, ha! Please share your thoughts below.