Should Women Stash “Mad Money”? My Thoughts


Our debate about women stashing “mad money” in the event of a relationship emergency continues.  Regardless of the motive, do you think women should stash “mad money”?  Some men find this unsettling while some women find a sense of comfort in being able to do so:

VictoryByDesignwrote, in response to Ginger:

Ginger, you are correct in that there are no biblical mandates to endure financial abuse. The biblical mandate is to become united in all areas of your life including the spiritual, physical, parental, and financial aspects. If a woman is being abused and needs to take care of herself, then by all means exit as fast as possible.

I agree that if a woman (or a man for that matter) chooses to have a sufficient income to support the household, family, and/or themselves in case of emergency then that is a sound plan. My concern is not having clarity on emergency and the motives behind the plan.

As an example, if the motive is to ensure stability in case of emergency, then that is a good plan. If the motive is to have a since of security in case of divorce, then that person is planting a seed of mistrust and will eventually walk out what they were planning for.

My deepest concern for anyone on the receiving end of financial abuse is that the person take action and protect themselves.

Ultimately, establishing trust, improving trust, and learning to trust have to be at the core of a marriage and the basis for making any decisions. When you separate finances and put controls in place, trust is endangered along with your relationship.

I ask this question because as you can see above the answer from some men is a resounding, no.

Yet, men are encouraged to present prenups to their less financially well off wives to be.  We are also encouraged in life to maintain an emergency fund that we break in the event of an emergency.  There’s even “eff you” money when we get tired of the day job doldrums.  But we aren’t accused of walking into a new car, home or new job with a distrusting attitude, yet we are preached to over and over again ad nauseam about being prepared financially for the worst.  I just think that regardless of the motive, we should have a stash to fall back on because no one walks into a situation hoping for the worst.  Yet, life happens.

Here’s my take (and my response to the comment above:

Regardless of the motives, life happens. Just as buying a new car off the lot, you have nothing but great things in store for the long drives, trips to the beach and even short trips around town to soccer practice. But as time goes on, things start to break down and it becomes apparent that you need to put aside funds to help you just in case the timing belt goes kaput or you need new tires and a new transmission. You’re not walking into the purchase with evil thoughts about the car breaking down but – life happens and we should be prepared.

People are even more unpredictable than machines.

This is analogous to marriage in that you start off with good intentions but as life progresses, things happen and you need to be prepared. Regardless of the motives, distrust or you just want to be prepared – remove the emotion from it. In order to handle those surprises women need to buckle down and make sure they have their finances in order should hell break loose in their marriage. I’ve never had to hide money in my own marriage that my husband didn’t know about but I am not against it either. If the husband is a good person and recognizes that he would want his wife to be Ok in ANY event then he shouldn’t have an issue with it. He should trust that she has good intentions and as with any rainy day, should he be the cause of the storm clouds then her “stash” is her umbrella.

I find that men who are threatened by a woman having her own money share these sentiments about planing seeds of distrust.

If we’re to be prepared by having car, home and rental insurance then why aren’t we allowed to be prepared just in case something happens and your other half becomes abusive or someone you’re unable to trust?

Again, remove the discussion around motives, this is purely about LIFE and being prepared for it. Whether someone slashes your tires or you just get a flat on the highway – you still need new tires. There’s a stash for that.


Should women have a stash they can use in the event of a “relationship” emergency?  This can include any reason which necessitates a physical separation from a partner.  If so, should the partners know about the “stash”?  Should it remain secret?

Chime in!

  • Suz

    Personally, I was grateful that I had money set aside in a generic emergency fund when I found out my long-term boyfriend was cheating, broke up with him, then had to unexpectedly break my lease and find a new place to live when he began threatening me and stalking my apartment. That wasn’t cheap, and would have been an even more stressful situation if I didn’t have money set aside to make it possible for me to get out of it.

    Like many women in abusive relationships I did not recognize that I was in one until it was over. In the future I will make sure that in addition to a general emergency fund I have a private fund that my partner does not know about. In a healthy relationship, this is a great way to save up for big vacations and surprise gifts. In an unhealthy relationship, trust me, it is a life saver.

    • Ginger-GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds

      So proud of you for doing this!

  • Tahnya Kristina

    Oh I’ve done it. Well actually I didn’t so much hide the money as I did just spend money on myself and not feel guilty about it. My BF and I have a very open relationship about money and now that we have been together for over 14 years we don’t argue about money anymore. I do have my childish moments where I spend money if he decides to splurge on himself. It’s dumb but it avoids an argument about one person spending more than the other.

  • Ragnar

    Love the topic. As a married man in an imperfect world, I would expect my wife or sister to take the steps necessary to ensure the basic safety of themselves and our children as necessary. That said, it can be a tool of relationship building in that it allows more open and honest discourse unburdened by financial blackmail; or it can be a tool of relationship destruction if used as a weed that always whispers into the person’s ear that relationships end because “shit happens.”

    Each person needs to take their own personal responsibility in interpreting it in a neutral light. Which is hard. So very hard.

  • Chris

    Absolutely, as long as you realize that this fully justfifies the guy squirreling away some of the money for the reason. How many guys have found out that they were being divorced by finding out that the checking and savings accounts were empty?

    But why not just be honest about it?

    Why not just create an account with a set amount for each person that the other person does NOT have access to, say $5000 (pick a number).

  • yozi_dp


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  • LaughstooLoud

    Yes women should have money stashed away. There is a great book called “How to hide money from your husband” by Heidi Evans. After leaving a relationship broke and homeless, living in a shelter for three months, yes i do believe it is important to take care of your own finances.

  • JD

    If my partner faces hospitalization or job loss, having an emergency fund is a great idea.
    If I can’t afford my apartment without him, then having an emergency fund that will last me at least through the end of our lease is vital.

    We do have a culture that devalues female independence on certain societal levels. But independent and financially secure females can provide a stable environment for themselves and any offspring or whomever is living with them.

    No one should have to face mistreatment by someone who “loves them” just because they don’t have cash saved. No child or pet or other dependent family member should have to face homelessness and worse due to a lack of planning/insurance…I kind of wonder if these guys who think it’s all about her planting the seeds of leaving some poor guy would feel the same way about their sister doing so if she had an abusive husband.

  • Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

    Hope you don’t mind a guy’s opinion on the subject Ginger :-)

    Any man who says no is either a controlling or insecure clown (keeping it clean with the adjectives) or is from a background/culture where they need to ensure that the women are dependent upon them. I think it’s important for men and women to have their own stash, not necessarily for a particular reason, but just to be able to do as they please without upsetting the balance of the shared money. And, if that money ends up being needed in the even of a relationship emergency so be it. Whether it should be shared knowledge is another story. That would all depend on the dynamics of the relationship.

    Regarding prenups, I personally think that everyone should have one, and that “marriage” should not be a tool for financial benefit in the case of those who marry simply for a better lifestyle (you leave in exactly the same position you came in before dealing with the in-marriage stuff).

    • Ginger-GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds

      Wow, very balanced response! Usually men don’t like the idea of women having a stash. I’ve removed the emotions of it all in my response. Life happens. Be prepared.

      • Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

        To be honest, I really don’t see why there should be any distinction between what men do and what women do. It is pretty sad how some men view various things, especially women, if you ask me.

    • Aquababe

      Yeah but thats a bit too simplistic,
      What if a child etc., comes into the picture?
      Guy gets off scott free due to a ‘pre-nup’?

      • Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity

        No one said anything about getting off “scott free. And, I never said anything about only men getting prenups, I said everyone, it’s not just men that have assets to protect going into a marriage. Besides, when it comes to a child, that’s a whole different story in terms of child support and care.

  • Neytiri

    YES!!! I am not married, however when I do get married I will have a stash saved up so I can leave if my hubby ever starts tripping. Of course men find it unsettling…it means that they have to act right.

    • Ginger-GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds

      LOL! You are so right!