Hide the packages…really?

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Albert Einstein

Back in the mid-1980s when the Hubs and I were living in Germany, I was out one night shopping BY MYSELF for a new coat. That didn’t happen often, and it was nice to be out for a little bit on my own. I found the most fabulous coat but it was, in my eyes, outrageously expensive! It was perfect, but it was MUCH more money than I’d ever spent on an item of clothing for myself in my life. Before I bought it, I called home to make sure the Hubs was OK with me spending that kind of money on the coat. I didn’t need his permission, but I felt like I needed to run it by him before I made the purchase. It was a good investment as I still have this coat and I still wear it to this day.

This story of my long-ago coat purchase brings me to a meme making the rounds recently on Facebook. It has me a bit perplexed and, quite frankly, a little bugged. It’s a picture of a doormat with a phrase that goes something like, “Postman, UPS guy, whoever, please hide packages from husband.” At first glance it was cute but then I started thinking about it a little. What kind of relationship exists when one spouse feels the need to hide purchases from the other? In addition to hiding the spending, I can see/hear the purchaser telling a child who witnesses the purchase to, “Don’t tell Daddy”, or “Don’t tell Mommy”, and bringing a child into the lie. In essence, spending money without your spouse’s knowledge is a lie. What kind of example does that set? I may be making a bit more out of this than what is there in reality, but I can see how some relationships actually exist like this. In my not-so-humble opinion, it’s a recipe for disaster both relationally and financially.

I don’t mean to sound judgmental but if you have a good relationship with your spouse, such behavior is SO unnecessary!! Spouses who communicate openly about their finances don’t need to hide their spending from each other! The obvious solution to this dilemma is to, wait for it, BUDGET for it! If you really don’t want your spouse to know what you’re buying, put a line item in your budget setting aside an amount each spouse can spend without consulting the other. The Hubs and I do this and it works really well. We can’t really avoid each other’s eyerolls over some of our purchases, but we have absolutely no say in how each of us spends the money we set aside for ourselves. And if what you’re wanting to buy costs more than what you have budgeted, revisit your budget or save up for it! OMG, what a concept! OK, that was a little judgmental-I admit it. It’s really just common sense, though. That, and showing respect for your spouse. Oh, and let’s not forget that trust thing. It’s pretty important.

Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…

Author: olderwisermoneymiser

I’m a 50-something wife, mom, and full time accounting administrator sharing my journey from work to retirement.

6 thoughts on “Hide the packages…really?”

  1. I hate hearing how people hide purchases. I’ve even seen some sites where they offer to include a card that says the product was something that they won. What that note is really saying is the person doesn’t have open communication with their spouse. And if you’re fearful of the reaction, maybe you should be examining whether that relationship is good for you instead of trying to hide purchases. Budgeting discretionary cash is a great idea.

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    1. Indeed! My sister PM’d me and suggested they might be asking to have a gift hidden, which is legitimate, but the inspiration for this post came from several crafting groups I belong to. If you have to hide your impulse purchases from your spouse you just might have a problem…Thanks, Jennifer.

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  2. Hi, Kim – I know it’s cliche, but you honestly had me at your opening quote! “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” As easy as it can be to tell small, seemingly inconsequential lies…it is definitely a slippery slope. And what you say about trust and relationships is most important of all. Awesome post!

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  3. Hand up in shame. When I was much younger and the children were babies and we didn’t have much money to spare, I hid a purchase under the bed. It was a spotty mini skirt and a matching jacket I wanted to wear to a wedding, but didn’t feel at the time entitled to it. Anyway, my hubby of course espied it before I got to wear it and explain, and he was mortified that I’d felt the need to hide it!

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