I have a confession. I have a secret bank account. My husband doesn’t really know it exists nor will I likely tell him. Before you all go crazy on me let me explain.
First, when I say he doesn’t ”really know about it”, what I mean is that saw the paperwork, inquired with me what it was, I quickly answered ”I opened a new account” and changed the subject. He hasn’t brought it up again so I’m confident he’s forgotten…
Our Monetary Differences
I am frugal and could live off rice and water if I could and it meant my debt would be paid off in less time. Yup, I’m one of those. While I didn’t put my life totally on hold because of my debt (I had a wedding and a honeymoon, and have a child who is well taken care of) there is a whole lot of expenses I would cut and things in my life I would get rid of and sacrifice for myself (ie things I have compromised on with my husband) if it meant we could get out of debt faster.
My husband however is very much NOT like this. He enjoys spending money and enjoys the things our money buys. Not so much so that it interferes with our long-term goals or anything, other than the odd unplanned lunch out with friends, I don’t have to worry about him being too irresponsible with our money but he’s definitely the spender while I’m the saver.
Our relationship works. We’ve been together eleven years so we have to be doing something right! He keeps me balanced and reminds me that even though we’re in debt, I don’t need to be such a tight-ass all the time. As long as we’re responsible with it all. We discuss all of our purchases. All of our accounts are joint (minus the aforementioned secret account) and we discuss everything when it comes to money (minus the aforementioned secret account).
Our definition of how an emergency fund should be used varies however.
The Emergency Fund
When my husband sees money in the account that houses our ”emergency fund” he tends to let a few small slip-ups happen because the money in the ’emergency fund’ account can be used until we can repay it. Again we’re not talking about a TV or Xbox game but when he sees me stashing away money into our emergency fund account he doesn’t seem to stick to our budget as strictly, thinking the ER fund will cover us. He get’s lazy when it comes to following our budget.
If, for instance, there was something we needed for the house and we were in the process of saving for it, but it came on sale this week only though we only had saved 60% of the cost, he would somehow convince me we should use the emergency fund money since the ”item is on sale” and put the savings back in the fund even though it’s at 40% less than we borrowed. But, if we had no available funds in said account, he wouldn’t even mention it and just wait until we had saved enough to even look for the item in store sales.
This is the sort of ”over spending” I’m talking about.
The Secret Account
I opened an online savings account that he doesn’t know about where I have a small emergency fund saved. I have much more financial restraint than he does so in my mind, the money is safer with me. We manage our day-to-day funds fine otherwise and have the same common goals.
Incidentally, if you are in the States and want to open a bank account, go with USAA. They have really outstanding customer service.
For the time being, I’m not going to tell him. When our next emergency does come up, and there will be one given our track history, he will likely look at me freaking out thinking we don’t have the money when I will inform him we will be ok because I have money set aside. Knowing my husband he will be grateful that I was smart enough to do this (both saving and out of his sight) and encourage me to continue on with the emergency fund as I currently am (without him knowing).
So for us, I’m sure this arrangement will work. I’m not talking about having a secret account that I will use for my own personal use, rather save for our family where I know it won’t be touched.
What would you do? Am I alone in this thought process?