Committing Financial Adultery – Lurid Examples, Gray Areas and Your Stories

Financial adultery is a newer term you’re probably going to be hearing a lot more about.  This recent survey indicates that HALF, yes, half the people surveyed have committed financial infidelity.  As the economy languishes and people continue to struggle with low-paying jobs and increasingly burdensome amounts of student debt, this notion of couples hiding money secrets from each other is becoming increasingly common.  Just within our circle of family and friends, we’re aware of several stories along the continuum from outright financial adultery or perhaps innocent sins of omission.  I’m curious what your take is on these situations and what stories you have to share.  Since some people we know read my posts, I’ll try to anonomize the accounts as much as possible, but here we go:

Wife Hiding Credit Card Debt on New Cards – So, we have a friend that confided that she’s been paying off credit card bills for various department stores and whatnot with money from her job.  She pays all the bills so he has no idea.  She said he’d be mad if he found out about the credit card bills she’s run up shopping.  The unfortunate thing, I assume, is that since he’s a relatively high earner and probably putting money away from his salary into various accounts, they could probably be using his extra money to just pay off the credit card debt if he only knew about it.  Think about it, rather than earning, say, whatever the stock market does, or 1% in a savings account, his wife’s income is paying probably 20% + on credit card interest.

continue reading more real-life examples of financial adultery and share yours!


19 thoughts on “Committing Financial Adultery – Lurid Examples, Gray Areas and Your Stories”

  1. Here’s my example:

    I collect scrap copper and other scrap metals from the jobsite. (I work in construction.) I take the copper wire scraps, clean them, and put them in a five gallon bucket. A bucket is worth about $50, depending on how tight you pack it.

    Then, I trade the scrap in for cash. I take the $$ and buy silver eagles with it. My wife has asked me before what I’m doing with my “kilo” money, and I told her, in no uncertain terms, the kilo money was “my” money, and don’t worry about it. She has no idea how many silver eagles we own.

    If she did know, she’d probably want to spend them to take a trip, or something. silver_eagle_coin_mint_rolls-Picture.jpg

  2. Tim,
    Great story! really touches the core of my being. It takes the 3 D’s to do something like that…. Desire, Discipline, Determination. VERY well done!

  3. A gentleman never tells.

    Maybe sometime over a few beers I’ll tell you my lurid details, but not here. The statute of limitiaions has not expired on all my crimes.

  4. Side income is going to be very important over the next few years. Needs to be converted to silver or gold and never enter the financial system at any point.

  5. Here’s a sad, but true story of a friend of mine.
    His grandmother died and left him and his family her house. He sold their small 2 bedroom home and moved into grandma’s 3 bedroom house that was about twice as big as their previous home, in a much better part of town and best of all, it was all paid off. They moved into this house, free and clear.
    His wife, who had been a stay at home mom wanted to go to work, so she did and the money she made was hers. Unknown to him she kept getting new credit cards and maxing them out. She got to where she could not even make the minimum payments and couldn’t hide the collection notices or dodge bill collectors anymore, so she waited until they were having a family event and told him that she owed nearly $50,000 on credit cards that he didn’t know about. She told him during this family get together so he wouldn’t kill her. After a lot of tears and promises they agreed that they would take out a mortgage on their house, the one that they had owned free & clear and paid off and canceled all the credit cards. She had nothing to show for all that debt and no savings from her job.
    Two years later she came to him and told him she’d done it all over again and was leaving him and taking their kids with her.
    He’s now stuck with a big, empty house and at age 52 has a 30 year mortgage & child support.

  6. Bad decision to mortgage the house. It would have been far better to take a BR in a case like that. It would have kept the house free and clear and put a control on the spending addiciton.

    Hindsight is 20/20 I know.

  7. And, also, consider this: Hypothetically, it’s all cash. No one knows how much scrap copper there is, or how much is taken in. Oh, sure there’s a record of it at the junkyard, but it’s possible that in a large city, there may be dozens and dozens of such businesses.

    When no one knows how much copper goes in, no one knows how much cash comes out, and no one knows how much silver is bought.

    I mean, this is all hypothetical. With my transactions, I follow the requirements of reporting TO THE LETTER. Every jot, every tittle, is reported as it should be.

    Just a little food for thought.

  8. Here’s my story:

    Go to school for 24 years, work my ass off and put my self through school, eat shit for 6 years of medical school, internship and residency. Get a job, get a house, and get married. Have two great kids. Then, wife runs off with coal miner, gets 1/2 my stuff, half my business, keeps “our savings”, gets the kids, and alimony and child support for 18 years (30% of my income).

    My recommendation:
    Don’t get married (50% of marriages end in divorce)
    If you do, hide as much money as you can from your wife
    Don’t let her have credit cards or take out loans
    Don’t put her name on the mortgage
    Have her sign a pre-nuptial agreement to protect yourself

    Half the men is this country are victims of women’s rights which allow men to get ass raped by their cheating POS wives. Don’t play the game. Protect yourself, because otherwise you will be a victim.

  9. I live in Oklahoma where there are casinos *everywhere*.

    I don’t know (with certainty) the details of anyone’s finances as a result of gambling.

    I do know that credit card debt and/or gambling can change who a person IS. I’ve seen it in our families and in some cases, it is young adult children who are introducing their parents, for instance, to gambling.

    A sister-in-law, who is someone I thought would never step foot inside a casino, is now what I would consider addicted. She sees unable to acquire enough money and stuff to be happy.

    I know there must be many more like her in our state; I hear anecdotal evidence of it from time to time.

    Very sad.

  10. The worst part about your story AWD, is that it has soured you on marriage, which can be the best investment a man can make, and can be the best institution human society has to offer. I have friends who have had much the same experience as you, and I can see your POV. I don’t think it’s right, the way the law favors women in thisinstance. It’s designed to provide for the kids, of course, but it’s a deeply flawed system.

    Good thing you’re resourceful. I have no doubt you will perservere. The Law of Karma will surely bite your ex on the ass, in the fullness of time.

  11. @AWD – Your divorce story is almost as bad as my fathers.

    That poor SOB.

    I think he takes solace in the fact that both me and my brother resoundingly take after him in wit, capability and work ethic (as well as facial appearance…..she slept around so thats reassuring).

    Also, me and my brother have both become tremendously successful in long term stable relationships and are very good terms with our dad. Both of us call to talk to him 1-2 times a week just to keep up on whats going on.

    As for our mother? Both me and my brother hate her. He puts up with her more than I do, but I think its because he likes to mock her to her face, whereas I just get pissed off and storm out.

  12. @ Maddie’s Mom – I am from a small town in eastern oklahoma, right on I-40, almost to Arkansas. I left the little town to go to Okla State U, and haven’t looked back. Probably one of the best decisions I made at that time in my life.

    Anyway, point is this: I went back for my 20-year high school reunion a couple of years ago. Casinos had popped up where there were none before. After Friday night’s events, someone suggested early morning breakfast at one of the places. As we walked in and looked at the buffet, it was obvious we were NOT there for the quality of food. It was really about the machines, and it was as sad as you describe. The people turned into zombies. They couldn’t even explain to me how the machines worked or how to play the games. They were incoherent. Like watching them disintegrate before my very eyes.

    I played a couple of the $1 games, and decided that was enough of that. On the one hand, I am a little…..what’s the word….. Schadenfreude? I’m glad the Native Indian has discovered a way to get a least something back after so much was taken from them. On the other hand, wow! What a crappy deal to be a slave to the casino.1334004325-mn_casino_smoke.jpg

  13. AWD that sucks, here in MA the laws are strongly in favor of the women. Many of the lawyers will encourage women to get a restaining order out against the husband to lock him out of the house and any assets available therein. I have been fortunate to be married 22 years my parents nearly 60. Each of my brothers (3) are still on their first marriage my oldest nearly 30 years. We are far from perfect men, but i think it truly takes an enormous commitment on both sides to stay faithful, sometimes it is just easier to give up. Many Americans prefer to take the easy way, I think it is a sad indictment on today’s society.
    Thank you,

  14. Yeah, divorce would screw most if us over bigtime. I wonder how many people stay in shitty marriages due to the financial aspect. Supposedly, they have forensic accountants out there to price you’re hiding money by looking at your income/expense patterns. Holding cash or metals I suppose is a way around detection but would probably take several years to build up anything worthwhile while evading detection (so you’d have to predict the demise of your marriage years in advance!)

  15. Well AWD, I feel for ya’ man, and have seen this happen (and worse, much, much, worse) many times.

    Of course (I’m here, aren’t I?), my story is quite different.

    Marriage #1, he was abusive, selfish and stuck in the 1950s. I was expected to work full time, pay half the bills and 100% of daycare, and take 100% care of the home, plus I was going to college, for myself as was constantly pointed out. At his dad’s retirement party I played the wrong song on the jukebox (I’m not kidding, that is what I did) and he kicked the hell out of me all across his small town (we were in his cousin’s bar, the only bar in the literal middle-of-nowhere) for hours. After seven years of his shit, that was it.

    I walked from that marriage with 1/2 custody of my son, NO child support (even though he made 3 times what I did and was a journeymen tradesman – thanks to me helping to support us when he made minimum wage in training), and after seven years of marriage I walked with ALL the credit card debt, NONE of my savings (he stole it) and NO spousal support. I got a check for $1500 that was negotiated by my attorney whom – shockingly – present me with a $1200 bill for services.

    His karma came with his next wife. Took nearly 12 years but the bitch even took his Harley when she left. It was truly hard to keep from laughing while he told me his tale of woe. It’s not only the man that gets screwed.

    Wish I could say that this time would be different, but I’m afraid it will be worse. So it goes.

    And yes, I commit financial adultery. I’ve taken a no-interest (with 4% fee) cash advance, bought silver and passed off the bill as a household expense. I also pad the credit cards with survival supplies, and though he doesn’t want to buy them, he pays.

    I’m a horrible wife. Using debt responsibly to protect our family in the event of disaster. The horror!


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