Q&A: How Do You Secretly Buy Gifts for Each Other?

quoteQuestion from Desiree: I'm a firm believer in a budget, but one thing that really stumps me is how to surprise my husband (or have him surprise me) with the money that we've budgeted for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, etc. Any ideas?

hexline 622

Thanks for writing, Desiree. You raise some great questions that can really take away from special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, or Valentine's Day. I have a few solutions that I think could help.

But first, let me commend you for your effort in surprising your husband. I don't even try any more. Kelsey usually knows exactly what she wants, and after a few failed attempts in the past (I once got her a scrapbooking organizer and she returned it...), I've conceded to letting her pick out her gifts. Sometimes she will pull up a few different browser windows with what she wants, and I will choose from those and order them for her. This way she gets exactly what she wants but I still get to voice my opinion. I, myself, like a good 'ol fashioned surprise and encourage Kels to take chances with gifts.

But, back to your question.

How We Secretly Buy Gifts for Each Other

  • Separate bank account: Kelsey and I have three checking accounts; one joint accounts for nearly everything, and we each have a personal account where our personal spending money goes. This is a no-questions-asked account, but occasionally we will transfer some money in there to buy the other a gift.
  • Cash: You could take out cash if you are physically going somewhere to purchase your gift.
  • Prepaid card: Have you seen the prepaid Visa cards? I've gotten one as a gift, but it might be a good way to hide what you're buying online from your spouse. (I don't recommend this for anything other than gifts. ;))
  • Politely ask: It takes a lot of trust, but I have simply asked Kelsey not to look at our online bank account before. It took all her might, but it was worth it in the end.

How do you secretly buy gifts for your spouse?