I used to date a girl whose mom handled the finances for their house. There’s nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that she would also handle spending all of the finances for the house as well. As for her husband…clueless! He would bring her check home…hahaha…his check home and give it to her. (Interesting slip of the tongue.) Since they are supposed to be one in marriage, let me say their check. Anywho, she would cash the check and burn through it faster than a cement torch. She also happened to be a rep for a multi-level product line, so she was constantly purchasing stuff that she wasn’t able to completely sell. She would then give away the leftover so it didn’t look like they were spending money on something that wasn’t working. On top of that, she had run up a BUNCH of credit card debt that he didn’t know about. The whole time he was oblivious to what was going on. She would give him his $20 allowance a week and he would be on his way. It was no surprise that her daughter, my girlfriend, had completely destroyed her finances after watching her mother do this to theirs. I didn’t stick around to find out what the outcome was, but I hope they got some help.
Come to find out this kind of thinking isn’t foreign. There was a time when a bunch of people from our office (Dave Ramsey office) went to support a friend of one of our team members by attending her “in home party to sell you kitchen stuff” party. Now, I have no problem with the company that does that, we own probably everything they have since we have supported so many friends as they sold it to help get out of debt. Great idea! The problem came in at this one ladies party when she dropped a bomb. After doing a fantastic job explaining all that they had to make our lives in the kitchen easier, she began to explain the payment processes. (Keep in mind who’s in the audience.) She said, “…and ladies, you can put it on your credit card so your husband won’t know.” Seriously? That’s your sales pitch? Lie to your husband! Great, I’ll take two of everything then!!
The amazing thing is this really isn’t that uncommon. As a matter of fact, men and women have been lying to each other over purchases for all too long. CNNMoney.com did an article highlighting 6 men and women who apparently are so ashamed of it, that they did an interview for A NATIONAL NEWS OUTLET! The genius of it all!! Not only will I hide my spending from my spouse, but I’ll tell everyone who’s willing to read about it.
I do believe you need to have an amount that you agree on that is okay to spend without approval from your spouse. Past that, if you’re having an issue discussing what you’re spending, then you have a much bigger problem than buying too many shoes. There’s a lack of trust in the relationship, and that should scare you more than if they find out you spent too much on prime sirloin. That’s why you MUST be working on your budget together. It’s okay if one person puts it together, but both need to be going over the numbers and agreeing to only spend what’s in the budget. When you spend the next month’s money on paper before the month begins, if there’s a discrepancy it won’t be hard to find. Thus holding everyone accountable. Then you can brag to the world on how well you’ve done NOT lying to your spouse.
Without naming names, do you know of someone who’s done this?