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.
We’re not talking about hiding money under the mattress or in laundry bags, we’re talking about informed and savvy financial moves so that you don’t have to be joined by the hip to your spouse.
Saving your own money like this can help the rest of your family and also mean you can live independently from your spouse’s actions without fear that they will affect you financially. Here’s our guide.
Establish Who Controls The Money
Different couples have different systems to control their money. You may have a single bank account for your whole family, or just to share between the two of you. If your spouse has started to make some rash decisions financially and you share a bank account this isn’t good news.
Before engaging in any incognito activities, and you share an account, why not try to have an open conversation with your significant other about having two separate accounts. This means that you can spend your own money you have earned without worrying about them, and they have the freedom to do the same.
Many banks have certain plans that cater towards this exact problem. This also means you can both have a savings account, separate to your own account, where you can both save money together. This works vice versa, if you control the money and they are spending too much of it, just give them their own account so they can monitor their own spending.
If your partner has done something irreparable, or they simply control the money, then it may be time to consider discreetly finding ways to save your own money.
If you are considering a divorce, it is paramount that you recognise any money that is held within a shared account will be treated as ‘marital estate’ and will be resolved with a 50:50 split. However, any money that is held in a private account will most commonly be treated as separate from the marital estate (depending on your state laws).
One popular way that spouses can hide their income and save money is by overpaying taxes. Most people don’t realise you can do this, but if you overpay on taxes then your refund will be larger.
You can have your tax refund then sent to a different account, or just brush it off as a tax rebate, when in reality this is money you have saved. If you are considering separating or divorcing then sorting out taxes now and simply paying separately will help in the long run.
If you are working for a company and receive a regular wage or salary you can simply get in touch with your HR department to do this. They simply increase your tax withholding.
Your paycheck will be smaller, but some of that money will go into the government’s hands meaning it cannot be spent until it re enters your bank account as a loan. You may want to consider getting a digital paycheck if you have a paper one, as your spouse could open your mail and read your pay checks to figure out what you are doing.
Get Your Own Credit Card
This seems simple but is actually pretty financially savvy if you want to consolidate your own finances from your spouse. If you have your own credit card, that money is yours to spend away from your spouse.
Only consider getting a credit card if you can actually support the credit. Having a credit card in your own name, rather than your using your spouses, means that you will be gaining your own credit score.
So, if there was a separation or divorce, you would have your own credit score separate from your spouses so you can re-establish good financial relationships with banks after your separation.
Although, if you don’t want your spouse to hear about this credit card, there are a few things to be aware of. Firstly, you will have to register the credit card at your home address, this is federal law. You can change this afterwards though, just be prepared to grab that letter as it comes through the letterbox.
Hide Physical Money
If these previous options aren’t possible in your specific situation it can be good to consider hiding real money. One effective way of doing this discreetly is to get cash back during your grocery shop.
Any money you take out as ‘cash back’ will simply come up as your normal grocery shop on your bank transactions, so it remains discreet. If you do this everytime you go grocery shopping you should amass a sum of money that remains hidden in your account.
However, now that your assets have manifested physically you will need to hide them physically too. We don’t suggest hiding them in your own house. Have peace of mind by leaving the money with a trusted relative like your mother or a friend who understands your situation. Another choice could be to rent a safe deposit box and store it there – not even the bankers can know what is in these boxes.
Our Final Word
These should be some legal ways you can hide your assets from your spouse and begin to save money perhaps in preparation for divorce or simply for your own peace of mind.
We recommend you exercise caution when attempting to ‘hide’ money, as in a divorce proceeding you could easily be found out if you aren’t being honest about your assets. There is a legal process called ‘Discovery’ during a divorce proceeding.
This relies on third parties such as friends, family, employers, banks to gather the full picture of someone’s assets. So it remains likely that your full assets will be known to the courts at this point.
You will also have to give a live deposition as well as other court proceedings that just won’t be comfortable if you have something to hide. If you are hiding money with a divorce proceeding in mind we recommend getting legal advice from legal professionals on what to do with your own money and how to protect your assets.
You don’t need to take this responsibility alone, honesty is your best policy and will protect you the most.