How To Hide Money From An Abusive Spouse? (Secret Bank Account Or Buying Gift Cards)

Hiding money from an abusive spouse is always a risky move. However, victims still choose to have some financial security and independence when thinking of getting away from their abuser. You need to have that one trusted friend who can help out by opening a secret separate bank account to keep your money or keeping it safe as cash. They can also help you open a safety deposit box to save the cash hidden with a copy of different essential documents. Though risky, hiding away money in different places at home is another option. You can also convert cash into gift cards though it comes with terms and conditions. There’re always shelters to seek that can help you out even if you don’t have money. 

If you’re trying to find ways how to hide money from an abusive spouse, that means you’re looking for a way out of the marriage and go somewhere safe.

To live an independent life, you need money to travel far away and finance yourself until you find a job.

It’s challenging to be in a position where you’re suffering mentally and physically. On top of that, you’ve to trick your spouse into not finding your saved cash for the emergency escape.

If you’re earning, your spouse already has a way of emotionally manipulating or forcing your paycheck from you, leaving you with no savings. 

Saving money in the form of cash is what most people strive for, so when the opportunity is right, they can just take their leave with the money saved.

Though not easy, it’s not impossible to slowly start saving cash and store it in places your abusive partner won’t notice so quickly. 

Financial abuse

A husband is giving his wife money as a weekly allowance, his control over her money usage is financial abuse.

Anyone can fall into an abusive relationship, and it’s not your fault for not noticing the warning signs.

Your partner can be very clever in hiding their actual traits until they have complete control over all aspects of your life, including your finances.

According to CDC, about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men will experience severe intimate partner violence in their lifetime.

It’s not always physical, emotional, or sexual, but it can also be financial, leaving you with no independence.

For the abusers, it’s another form of control and power to have over the victim.

In such cases, it can be difficult for the victim to get out of the relationship because their spouse might be blackmailing them somehow, and they have no money to get out of the situation. 

This is clearly financial abuse. It can broadly be explained in three ways:

  • Controlling a family member’s money
  • Stopping a family member from earning their own money
  • Limiting a family member’s access to money

Places to hide money from an abusive spouse

The biggest question is how to start saving money to get out of this abusive situation.

Before you can find the right opportunity to run away, having the security of money is a necessity. 

Even if you’re earning money, your partner might go to the bank with you to directly deposit all the money, leaving you penniless.

They might have control over all your bank details, and there’s no way for you to dip into the funds lying in your account.

1. A close friend you trust

A young woman is having a chat with her close friend about her abusive spouse

Hiding your money in your own account can be an impossible task. An abusive partner usually takes over their partner’s account, including the credit cards and having access to their account.

You need to have a trusted friend or family friend who wouldn’t utter a single word to another person. Ask the person you trust to keep your money safe. 

They can either open a bank account in their name to keep your money or keep it as it is in the form of cash. You can also ask them to get a safety deposit box to hide your money and valuables.

Try not to have any conversations regarding money on your cell phone through messages, calls, emails, or any social media platform. Discuss all the financial matters in person when you meet.

2. Safety deposit box

If you can’t have your private account in danger of exposing your cards and bank book, open a safety deposit box instead.

Of course, you can’t get an interest on the money you store there, but at least this way, you can also keep a copy of other vital documents.

Documents such as a copy of your social security card, birth certificate, and passport.

Also, if you’re able to do it, get copies of tax returns, bank statements, investment statements, mortgage or loan information, car titles, and pay stubs. 

Even clicking pictures of these documents can help in the future. 

3. Split your check

Next time you are getting a raise in your job, ask your HR to help you by splitting the amount into two accounts. You can take benefit of the raise if your spouse isn’t aware.

The amount you’ve been depositing in the account can all go into your account. 

The raise can be deposited into your other secret account. 

4. Hiding cash at home

A tactic to cleverly save some cash is when you’re buying groceries. You can buy many groceries and try to purchase multiple of everything. 

You can have the receipt, which shows a bigger amount, but if you return one extra item in each category, that can give you enough cash on one grocery visit. 

The cash you have saved from such visits can be stored secretly somewhere in your house. Anywhere you think your spouse won’t notice. 

Don’t store all your cash in one hiding place. Either hide at multiple locations in your home or keep on giving the saved money to your trusted friend/family whenever you get to see them. 

5. Buying gift cards

Unfortunately, sometimes people don’t have even one person they can trust. Finding out a different plan to store money is desperately needed in such a case. 

Even hiding cash in a secret place can feel like you might get discovered any minute. Since you plan to escape, you need to hide a lot of money, becoming riskier. 

Collecting gift cards is one way to store a lot of cash in the small and thin cards. You can buy them at your nearest drug store and put in as much as $500 in one card. 

Hiding a bunch of these cards in different places is more manageable than hiding bundles of cash. Later you can buy one item from each card and ask for the remaining money. 

But there’s often an expiry to such gift cards. Look into how they can be used later, and look into all its details before putting your money into it. 

Seeking shelter from an abusive spouse

A woman is checking how much money she has in her bedroom

For a person in an abusive relationship, it takes up to seven tries to finally leave their abusive spouse. If you have children with your spouse, leaving the person who has crippled you financially becomes even more difficult. 

They might have already destroyed your credit score if your bank details were under their control. In such cases, financial abuse victims only tend to think they can’t do anything but be financially dependent on their spouses.

You might be finding ways to hide your cash for immediate runaway, but there’s always an option to seek shelter whenever you require it.

Some shelters provide free resources, including all the basic necessities, at no cost. They might also provide temporary housing to you and your child if you have any. 

U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233


What’s the meaning of financial abuse?

When you have a partner who has financially crippled you by making you depend on you for anything that requires money, it’s money or financial abuse in the relationship.

It can be of different types. The abuser might steal property, defraud, misuse credit cards, take care of all the finances, sabotage employment, and make you depend on them financially. 

What are the warning signs of financial abuse?

– Borrowing money and not giving it back
– Stealing money or belongings
– Taking pension payments or other benefits away from someone
– Taking money as payment for coming to visit or spending time together
– Forcing someone to sell their home or assets without the consent
– Tricking someone into bad investments
– Forcing someone to make changes in wills, property, or inheritance

What do I do after leaving an abusive spouse?

After you’ve successfully left your abusive spouse, finding ways to have financial security can be difficult.

There’s also the danger of the spouse seeing you again. 

There’re certain things to remember and take action on immediately after leaving the abusive household.

This includes:

– There are temporary housing or independent housing offered by the shelters.
– You can take advantage of food assistance programs for both yourself and your children (if any).
– Mental health is also important to consider after getting away from an abusive spouse and so seeking mental health professionals for your mental health is another step you need to take. Programs such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, National Center for Victims of Crime, and non-profits such as Face2Face offer their services and help.
– You need to consider taking legal aid services and lawyers to help you get a restraining order, child custody, family court, and getting a divorce from the spouse. 

How do I get financial security after leaving an abusive spouse?

– Finding employment to feel financial independence is the first thing you would do. You can take advantage of programs like Dress for Success, Her Voice, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, CareerOneStop, and ReacHIRE. 
– Developing a good credit score is the next step. Your spouse might have ruined the credit score, which you can fight against and win if it’s your own account, but the struggle would continue for longer for a joint account. A good credit score can help you with financial health and get a lower interest rate on loans. 
– If you already have life insurance coverage, remove your partner as quickly as possible if they’re listed. Obtaining proper health insurance will help you and your children. There are many options available for victims and for people with low-income families. 

To summarise

Any kind of abuse is unacceptable in marriage. Usually, financial abuse makes the victim depend on the abusive spouse for money, making them unable to leave the relationship even though they want to.

To escape financial abuse, the victim generally starts finding ways to store their cash in secret to finally find an opportunity to run away with some financial security on their hands. People also wait for a tax return season to have some more financial aid.

Hiding cash is always a risky move, but not for the victims who might have gone through worse things with their abuser. Just know that shelters always exist for the financial abuse victims, even if they don’t have a penny on their hands. 

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Hi! I’m Saumya, writer and editor at Marriage & Bliss. “To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” —Elizabeth Gilbert. Every marriage faces pitfalls, be they internal or external, and with my words, I hope to help couples find possible solutions and mend their broken relationships. After all, a successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
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