“Things haven’t been great through lockdown… I’ve told myself I won’t make any rash decisions yet but given I have no savings of my own, if I were to leave the money would come in handy.”
Every couple has a different approach to finances. Some decide to combine everything into one account, others agree to pay for certain things while their partner pays for others. But what if you decide to hide money from your partner? Is that a clear sign you think things won’t last, or are you just being sensible?
One woman has taken to mumsnet after discovering she was about to come into a little bit of money from her grandfather – 11k pounds (roughly AUD$20k) – which she says is “nice, but not life-changing.”
She says the sensible thing would be to pay off some credit card debt and then perhaps when restrictions ease, she and her husband and daughter could have a nice holiday somewhere.
But, as she puts it, “things with DH (darling husband) haven’t been great through lockdown…” and she wonders whether it might not be more sensible to keep the money set aside – and keep it quiet – just in case she needs it to start afresh sometime in the future.
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Things have been tense during the lockdown. Image: iStock
“I’ve told myself I won’t make any rash decisions”
As has been the case with so many couples, she admits that the pandemic has put a serious strain on their relationship. She says that while they’re both essential workers, she has been able to work from home – which means she’s taken on the full responsibility of homeschooling as well.
Her husband, on the other hand, has been leaving the house every day for work, while she is left “trying to do my crazy busy full-time job with a hysterical child” who she says is “antagonised” by her husband about school work.
The woman says, “I’ve told myself I won’t make any rash decisions during lockdown and will see what happens at the end of it,” but admits, “given I have no savings of my own, if I were to leave, the £11k would come in handy, and could really help me and DD (darling daughter)…”
Want more stories like this? Here is one mum on why she kept a secret ‘split stash’ for when she needed to leave, here are some tips for how to manage your finances during a separation and here is the woman who started a virtual mums group after splitting with her husband.
“The money could really help us…” Image: iStock
“I wish I’d had an ‘escape fund’ years ago”
Rather than admonish her, most people agreed it was a sensible idea to put it aside and save it for a rainy day.
“I wish I’d had an ‘escape fund’ years ago,” one said, adding, “I think it’s a good idea.”
“Nothing wrong in keeping it quiet for a ‘rainy’ day,” echoed another, “Especially if you have concerns over your future. Do what you feel is right for you and your child.”
Plenty felt the fact that she was even considering doing this meant her relationship was in trouble. “I don’t think you are unreasonable but your marriage is over. This wouldn’t happen in a happy functioning relationship. I would be devastated and shocked if DH did this as would he if I did.”
However, there were those who didn’t think it necessarily meant things were over – she was simply being cautious. “A girl should always have her own money,” one said, “A rule I’ve always lived by and has come in handy more than once.”
“A girl should always have her own money.” Image: iStock
“Clear your debt and move on”
Others urged caution, saying that there was a chance if they were to divorce and it became acrimonious, the money might end up with him anyway. “I’m not a lawyer but I would have thought the best bet would be to clear the debt with it,” one said, with another adding, “You’re married so it’s joint money… paying off debt will benefit both of you when it comes to splitting assets and debts.”
Others, however, believed there might be another solution – to get someone else to hold onto it, or put it in her daughter’s name.
“Get the cheque written into your daughter’s name and put it in her account. Then he can’t touch it. Is yours to start again with.”
The OP came back on the forum to thank people for their input, admitting that, “I’ve made a decision not to make a decision on my marriage just now,” but she’d simply had “so many times recently where I’ve thought that I can’t go on.”
The general consensus was that she should look after herself and perhaps get some proper legal advice, as these things were tricky and different places have different laws. In the meantime, everyone agreed she should give herself a break, that it was OK to ask these questions and to think out loud about what was best for her future.