Thursday, June 26, 2008

Frugal Friday Tip: No Secrets!

One day this week I was in an elevator with two other women who obviously knew each other. One of the women was excitedly telling her friend the following:
"I have my children trained. Now, when we pull up to our house, the kids check to see if Daddy is home. If he's there, we leave most of our shopping in the car and only bring in the essentials. If my husband is gone, the kids quickly bring in all the shopping, and we put it away as fast as possible so that he doesn't see it!"

As they laughed this little story off, I thought about how damaging this scenario is to this family. Mom feels that she can't share her shopping with her husband, and the children learn to hide things from their father. At some point, I'm sure Dad will see that he cannot trust Mom so much with financial issues. It's a vicious cycle.

However, I believe it may be more common than we'd like to admit. I know women that leave their shopping bags in the trunk of their car until the house is empty, as well as have secret credit cards and bank accounts. Now, I am not on a high horse about this. I, too, am guilty. When we first got married, I had a credit card to a certain lingerie store that I didn't bother telling my husband about. I didn't use it a lot, but when I did use it, I made sure to go to the store and pay the bill with cash so he would never know. I did this for about 3 months, when I began feeling very convicted about this. Not only was I essentially lying to my beloved husband, but I know that God was not pleased about what I was doing.

I thought, "If I do this about something "little" now, what will I lie or hide from him later?" This was NOT a good way to start off our marriage. So the very next day, I called up the company and canceled the account and cut up the card. Let me tell you - it felt so good!

Some couples deal with this issue by including some "discretionary spending money" in their weekly or monthly budget. Each spouse gets a certain dollar amount to spend without having to tell the other spouse what they spent it on. We don't do this in our household, but I'm sure it works great for other people. I'd be interested to hear if any of you do this or have ideas!
How does this apply to Frugal Friday? Well, if you are thinking about buying something that you are ashamed to tell your spouse about, you probably should not be buying it in the first place. This will not only be good for our bank accounts, but, even more importantly, strengthening to our marriages! I can't tell you how good it feels that I don't have to worry about hiding anything!

This is a great way to not only be frugal, but also to "build up our homes", as the Bible says:

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
Proverbs 14:1

Go to Biblical Womanhood for more great Frugal Friday ideas!

Graphic courtesy of


BarbaraLee said...

You are so right. I to am guilty of this. My dh doesn't even want to know what is in the acct. let along handle it. This might be a good things b/c we wouldn't be tithing if it wasn't for me. I do try and watch the budget though more closely.

Kate said...

This is SO true. What a wonderful post, and a great reminder! Thank you so much.

Brenda said...

I used to be guilty of this as well (although I never got the kids involved). It is a horrible way to live - always hiding things and living in fear that DH would find out and it would hurt our marriage. A few years ago I came clean and I am very open about money & purchases.

wendymom said...

Well Dad does know about my 'soapmaking account'...but he doesn't know about the 9.99 sandals hiding in the car right now! The strap broke on my old pair and I've been holding off buying a pair for months. I'd best go tell him! I really didn't meam to hide them, but my arms were full of CVS bags (20 SoyJoys,etc. haha) when I came home. Thanks DD! Shabbat shalom!

wendymom said...

Oh BTW, I've had the best Friday- I had the day off and I've been preparing for Shabbat since 9am. I haven't gone out ( therefore spending NO MONEY) and have held the Cleaning Olmypics and made SEVEN loaves of Challah (gorgeous loaves, except I burnt the bottom of two, wahh!) Again Shabbat shalom!

Audra Krell said...

This is such a good reminder. This woman is blatantly teaching her kids to disrespect their father and displaying the fact that she doesn't respect him either.