Is it ever OK to hide money from your partner?

Are there any situations where it’s OK to hide money from your spouse or partner? I’m not talking about setting money aside because you’re planning a surprise. Does it ever make sense to have a separate account that your partner doesn’t know about?

I ask because I recently got this letter from a woman who discovered her husband’s secret bank account.…secret-bank-account/

I’m a big fan of having a joint account for shared expenses, in addition to separate accounts for each person. But the key is separate, not secret. What’s disturbing here is just how much control the husband has over the finances. He’s withdrawing $6,100 a month from their shared bank account, while she takes just $1,400. So I’m concerned that there could be other things she doesn’t know about.

That said, there are a few situations where I think it may be permissible to have a secret account, though I don’t think they apply here. For instance, if your partner has a history of overspending or gambling, it might make sense to keep an extra safety cushion that they don’t know about. Again, I don’t think this applies in this case.

Is it ever OK to have a secret stash of money that your partner doesn’t know about? What would you do if you discovered your partner was hiding money from you? If anyone is comfortable sharing personal experiences here, I’d love to hear your perspective.


The Woman does not mention the breakdown of her bills or his bills or combined bills. Food prices have gone up, Electric has gone up, Taxes on the property has gone up, No mention of HOA Fees, (if any) which go up too, along with Dr. bills, etc. Maybe he is stashing cash because she supports her adult kids ?!? How much money is left over after he pays most of the bills ? How much cash does she give to those deadbeat kids per month ? That is what I’d like to know. The woman should give up her using her credit cards, seen as she mentions needing extra money for her credit card bills, again no mention of his part of credit cards, just hers. I stopped asking my parents for money way back when I was 14, I am 58 years old now and my (adult) kids don’t ask me for money.

The Deadbeat Adult Kids comment is below.

Don’t mention about this covid stuff and unemployment being so high, especially when people are Sponges of the U.S. Government, I never missed a day of work during the height of the pandemic, nor have I missed a day of work in the last 30 years. Also, my work has been hiring for the past 25 years and people just don’t want the job, which is crazy seen how no experience is necessary it is all on-the-job training, and pay starts at $17.30 an hour plus benefits too. Along with pay raises and a monthly pension check after one retires with free health care included for life. Hell, I just got a raise this past Monday. I see Now Hiring signs every day, pay ranging from $13 an hour to what I said my boss pays hourly. Walmart pays $16 an hour where I live, people just don’t want to work, they just want a (government) check for nothing.

Robin, how can the lady hire a lawyer, And what type of lawyer should she hire seen as it might not mean he wants a divorce if she has no cash because she claims her husband stashes cash in a secret account. Does he have a Christmas Club account or stock brokerage account ?

My HOA Fees just went up this month. I just paid off my house last month, plus I earn less than what the lady mentioned she and her husband spend/make per month, $7500.00 and I do all of this as a single one-earner male.

Just my thoughts.

Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of shared accounts. I feel like each person should be trained to be financially responsible with their own accounts in the partnership. This helps the couple’s goals be more financially aligned. If my partner wants something, they’ll either just pay for it or I can pay for it – depends on the purchase and the occasion.

However, how much money I have or the fact that I have money laying around – I’m completely transparent about it with my partner.

I feel for most situations, keeping secrets from your partner isn’t a good idea in general. That’s less of a “money” problem at that point and more of a “trust” problem – and good relationships don’t really build on trust.

The only exceptions, I agree, are cases where gambling is a problem and money must need to be hidden so that food can still be put on the table, for example.


If you have hidden accounts, you may have a marriage problem and not a money problem. If you are dealing with a gambler, someone with addiction where their money is being spent online without your knowledge (think gaming, pornography, etc), or someone who’s trying to get out of an abusive relationship, separate hidden accounts may exist.


I don’t think there is ever a time when a secret bank account is acceptable. You mentioned the case of a spouse who gambles and overspends. To me, that sounds like a deeper issue in terms of addiction. Which is no different than being addicted to any substance. Abuse is abuse, so i don’t think it’s a good look to prop up your spouses habit. Therapy would get at the root of that issue i think. My wife and I have a joint account and we each have separate accounts for ourselves. However, we both have each others log in information on everything for access in the event we are both incapacitated. God forbid. I think it just makes sense to be open about all that you have if you’re truly joined together in a relationship. Hiding money just seems sneeky IMO.

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I see no mention of whether she ‘helps’ her adult children (occasionally in an emergency situation) or she ‘supports’ her adult children ( regularly pays for their basic living expenses). If he has mentioned for her not to do this, support them, and she continues I think he is in right to do this. The husband is doing what he has to maintain their lifestyle.

I had a friend who supported her grown grandchildren; car payments, groceries, school clothes for great-grand children. She ended up loosing her house (that had been paid off when her husband passed). Needless to say she had no boundaries and the grand children knew the right guilt buttons to push.

I have never asked my parents for money, even in situations where I was in a dire circumstances, it was always my responsibility to get myself out of a situation that I got myself into. My siblings and I have loaned things back & forth And helped each other out, but never our parents.

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My ex husband had a secret account and when we divorced was able to buy a home in cash! This is how much he has stolen from our community. Now that we are divorced he does not help our children, and when I mean help, I mean assist with a down payment of a house, not day to day expenses and with $ help now and then.
I’m not sure why some parents believe parenting stops at some point. I’m blessed with grandchildren and I also help them.
Secrets re finances, with exception of addictions, are not good.

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Finances can really be a kick in the butt when done wrong between spouses. I agree that there should be a “separate” account and not a “secret”. My partner and I (not yet married) plan to have joint accounts for our future kids and expenses. But right now, to practice having no secrets, we both each others bank details and how much is in it.

thank you,
Quality Assurance

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i never did it, so i have no opinion

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