Dear BLR Editor,
I’ve read accounts of spouses who are spendthrifts and spend their families into the poorhouse. I have the opposite problem.
I think my wife secretly hoarding cash. What I mean is that she will ask me for cash every now and then to buy different items – no complaints here – but not spend the cash.
It’s not as if she’s breaking the bank here, but there’s a pattern that’s easy to see. She is a homemaker and is really prudent with our home’s expenses, but I am puzzled about what I call her secret cash hoarding, which she just laughs off.
Editor – Thanks for writing, Jim. It’s not often that people write about their partner saving money as a problem. First though, if we’re talking about smaller sums here, it’s not worth pursuing. She might simply be saving enough to buy you and your kids Christmas presents without having to ask you for the money. Don’t sweat small things.
Remember that with you as the sole earner, she may perceive you as having the economic power in the marriage. Her stashing money away might simply be a way of empowering herself.
The key to many issues (I won’t call this a ‘problem’ without an idea of the scale) is communication. If this really concerns you, sit down with her and have a frank talk about how secure she feels.
If she didn’t buy that vacuum cleaner and large-screen TV she swore your family needed, we might have issues here. If so, probe to see what her feelings are about the family’s personal finances and whether she feels that you save enough for the family.
Her secret savings might be the result of fear, especially if she does not perceive you as being fully responsible with money. In essence – look inward also at how your own savings habits.
So good luck as you and your wife share about financial affairs in hopefully, an honest manner.