16 Sep
Don’t I Have a Right To My Husband’s Wallet?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

The other day I looked in my husband’s wallet to see if he had any cash. In the past I’ve asked him before I looked and he would then give me a “kind” amount. He wasn’t awake this time, so I “borrowed” $4.00. He did have more, but I only needed the $4 for the kids’ lunch money. When my husband got home from work, here’s how the conversation went…

Husband: “Did you take money out of my wallet?”

Me: “Yes. It was only $4.00.”

Husband: “You stole from me. You’re being a bad example to our kids. You’re teaching them how to steal.”

Me: “First of all, the kids were not around when I “stole” from your wallet.   Second of all, it was $4.00! I’ll pay you back!”

My question is do wives have the right to look in their husband’s wallet and “borrow” money? Or should we always ask permission first?

I’m Not a Thief


Dear Not a Thief,

Hell no we don’t have the right to “borrow” money. We have the right to TAKE money. I don’t know what state you reside in, but in my state I have a legal right to half. That means I could take half of whatever is in his wallet (not just $4) and the cops can’t do anything about it. In fact, since we aren’t divorcing I’m pretty sure I could take everything in his wallet and the cops still can’t do anything about it. So none of this “stealing” business, please. Can you imagine a cop’s response to that 911 call?

911, state your emergency

Yes! My wife took all of my money out of my wallet!

Sir, go to the ATM and get more.


Look, taking money out of our husband’s wallet is one of the two benefits of marriage for women. It’s certainly not the extra laundry, the dirty socks on the floor and the extra seven hours per week of housework we gain upon marriage. It’s having someone to complain to and taking money out of their wallet. Why else do they think we listen to them fart when they pee?

So yes, in my book, we have a right to look in our husband’s wallet and take money, though I must make a disclaimer: when my aunt did this very thing, she discovered condoms in her husband’s wallet – birth control they didn’t need or use together. Oops.

Of course, it’s good marriage manners to ask first, or at least let them know we took it. It’s that whole Golden Rule thing. I would hate to go to pay for my pedicure and not know I’m $4 short.  Then again, I’d hate to not know my husband is carrying around condoms if I’ve had my tubes tied, so maybe in this case we should just forget The Golden Rule.

Heather, TMH

22 Responses to “Don’t I Have a Right To My Husband’s Wallet?”


Comment by Betty Herbert.

Ah, how the bell of familiarity is ringing!

A few years ago, Herbert got into the habit of emptying his pocket change all over the house. This drove me insane.There would be puddles of cash on every surface. After a while, I realised he saw it as non-money, so I started to pick through it every day to extract any pound coins I found. This was surprisingly lucrative.

As you can imagine, he was not best pleased when he found out – he used the ‘S’ word too. However, I pleaded a lesser s-crime: Snaffling. This, in my definition of the word, means appropriating things that are there for the taking. He had not missed the money, and I had used to to ornament myself. What’s not to like.

Anyway, the net effect was the H stopped leaving money all over the place, which I suppose was a good thing. But I maintain that, if he would have given it to me when asked, it’s not stealing. In fact, it’s an efficiency measure.


Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

It seems to me your husband took the $4 shortage quite seriously: are you sure he didn’t have 5$, and your taking 4/5ths of that amount upset him?
But calling it “stealing” sounds really too much, and the excuse of the bad example to the kids seems pretty lame.

I suppose much depends on your habits as a couple: you speak of your asking and his giving you “a kind amount”: what sort of an amount is a kind one? Is it enough for the stated needs? Is it plenty? Is it scanty? Anyway, it sounds very much like a kind of “begging” on your part, and this is decidedly not fair. As Heather pointed out, you do plenty of work to justify your taking money!!!

I think you had better discuss the money matter thoroughly with your husband and come to an understanding; meanwhile, should you happen again to take money from his wallet while he’s asleep, just leave him a message.


Comment by thepsychobabble.

It’s not stealing, imho. And it was for HIS and your kids’ lunch money, for pete’s sake. Did he want you to say, “Sorry kids, daddy is sleeping. That means I can’t ask him before I pass out that four dollars. Guess you’re going hungry!”

(but I have to admit that I HATE when the husband goes into my purse…because he always messes everything up in it:p)

Mom again Reply:

It wasn’t stealing but for cripes sake: why do you keep needing to ask him for money? Plan ahead woman! Get cash back at the grocery, enough to cover the kids lunches at least. Plus bus fares and whatever other incidentals you can anticipate. If you can’t bypass him and go to the ATM yourself then you’ve got bigger problems than we can solve here.


Comment by wacdance.

No it is not stealing but I HATE it when people get in my purse so I think I would ask.


Comment by Plano Mom.

Good marriage manners. I like that. It is good marriage manners to ask, but um…. it’s the SAME MONEY. There is no his and hers, its ours.

Next time he hets horny and tries the grabby grabby, start screaming about how he’s raping you and what kind of example is he giving the kids? Sorry lame example, but you get it… he’s being silly.


Comment by Karen at French Skinny.

I think your husband has “Squeaky Wallet Syndrome”. (I recognize the signs from my own sweet Hubby.) He’s cheap and embarrassed about it. Instead of admitting this, he puts it on you and tells you your a bad mom.
My Hubby has never gone to that extreme, I believe, because he does not want the stare that stops time. If you have not perfected the stare that stops time, then perhaps you can start “asking” for 5 times as much money as you need per week so you can have what my mom used to call “Mad Money.” This is used just for your pleasure. Or maybe 10 times the amount. Depending on how mad you are:)

GrandeMocha Reply:

I like the Mad Money idea! I just tell my husband, “I took $X out of your wallet.” Now it will be $10X!


Comment by Paula.

I may have a “right” to take money from my husband’s wallet, but I wouldn’t. I don’t want him getting into my purse, why should I expect him to be ok with me going into his wallet? I have an ATM card, I can use that. Or I’ll ask him if I’m running short on time. I’m not going to just take it.

I’m actually surprised by how many posts have the tone that as wives we are somehow entitled to just take money out of our husband’s wallets?

Heather, TMH Reply:

I don’t have a problem with my husband going into my purse. Unless it’s to get the last piece of gum, then I do. But he’s entitled to take money from my wallet, the Golden Rule, etc. Thankfully his wallet is too slim to carry a condom.


Comment by MarriageIsAPartnership.

I guess it depends on how you arrange your finances.

In our household all money is shared money (The only exception is money received as a gift, which is only to be used on the person it was given to).

Sure I take money out of my husband’s wallet and he takes money out of my purse. We just make sure we tell each other, even if that means that we make a phonecall later when they are awake to tell them.

It’s about being a partnership and looking out for each other. What’s mine is his and vice versa.

Sounds like a good chat to clear up how you handle your family’s money is in order.


Comment by annie.

Wow, I just typed for a really long time but read the post above about shared finances and courtesy calls and clicked delete.

So, let me say ditto instead. We share but out of courtesy let the other know and double check it isn’t needed.

Although I will say, the fact that it was for the kids changes things a bit in that NO WAY you should have to “pay it back!”. Shared responsibility!!


Comment by Rachael.

I do not take money out of my spouses wallet but our daughter does not need lunch money yet. A friend of mine puts post it notes in her husbands wallet and her teenage daughter does the same. If you’re going to do it the least I would expect is to be told somehow. A post it, text message, email or in person. Using the term stealing and trying to use guilt by saying you’re setting a bad example sounds childish. His reaction makes me wonder if there is something he did not want you to find so is making it a big deal to deter you from doing it again. I would do it again out of curiosity and spite but that’s just my personality.


Comment by Mommycosm.

Yeah, it’s not a matter of stealing, but a matter of manners.

I always ask my husband before entering his wallet – or his email, for that matter. Of course, if he says no or makes a big deal, a red flag would go up. Hasn’t happened.

I have nothing to hide, but I’d feel a little violated if my husband went through my purse w/out asking. Or, if it was an emergency and he had to take money for something but failed to give me a heads up… let’s just say he’d be lacking a heads up later;)


Comment by Karin.

Gosh, if my hubby had come up with that, he’d have a new job of making sure the kids had lunch or lunch money.

Honestly, I do like him asking or letting me know that he’s taken money from my wallet but it’s our money, not his or mine. Well, except that $10 he took the other day – that was money from my bow business that I hadn’t entered into the ledger yet.


Comment by MOmmy on the Spot.

I think you honored another Golden Rule: Don’t Wake a Sleeping Spouse.

It’s not like you were taking money to run away and buy crack. It was to feed yoru kids.


Comment by Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him.

Considering my husband considers me opening a catalogue with his name on it ‘mail fraud,’ I would definitely be labeled a thief for taking money. That said, I cannot offer adivce since my own mental account of what to say when confronted about taking the money was, “No, why would I take your money??” So I’m a thief and a liar.

Heather, TMH Reply:

A useful combination, Erin.


Comment by okstamper.

This is disgusting what my husband did to me. He knew we were low and tight on funds for the week. I had $15 in my cubby hole in my purse for me to get gas in my truck. He ransacked my purse so he can buy his cigarettes the day I was going to get in my truck. Then he says I put the money by his phone, what the heck. What if I was at the gas pump and pumped gas, then what, how would I have paid. He had no right going through my purse looking for his addiction when he knew we didnt have any money.


Comment by Emily.

Sometimes I have a $5 bill (or something) that’s specifically supposed to go to some work thing (Bob’s retirement gift, etc). So, perhaps hubby was counting on it for something like that?

but if he actually said you stole from him, then there’s another issue. Unless you guys have one of those marriages where you don’t share money and you really do ‘pay eachother back’ for dinners and such (I have friends who do!).


Comment by Mad Hubby.

I just found out my wife of 5 years took something out of my wallet last week and I’m PO’ed!!! I’m looking at what kind of wacky ideas women have about going into their husbands wallets. That’s like coming into the bathroom to shave your legs while I’d doing my business. Yeah, some people are fine with that, I’m not. You ask for something from me and I provide it. This lunch money thing is stupid. Either he’s an idiot control freak or you are really bad at managing money.

If my wife needed lunch money and took it from my wallet, and I noticed and said something she would have said something like, “yeah moron, I needed the money because you forgot to give it to me earlier” and that would be cool, but she took something a week ago that she should have put back and just now casually says she has it.

She didn’t take money. She’s nuts. A, she shouldn’t have done it, B, she should have put it back when she was done, C, I wouldn’t have cared if she did A and B, but she didn’t so now I have an issue! Don’t take my stuff in the first place, and put it back when you’re done. AIEEEE. I’m PO’ed


Comment by Bob.

My ex wife used to steal money out of my wallet. It went from that to her taking out credit cards and not telling me about them. Less than three months later she went into the restaurant where I was manager and cleaned out the safe after using my keychain to get in and my clicker to disarm the alarm.

Soon after I learned she had pawned her 3 1/4 carrot engagement ring, sold her car, sold my boat, emptied my retirement account, sold an antique Patek watch and various jewels from our safety deposit box. and had also stolen my elderly mothers credit card and charged $20,000 in a month. She would buy gift cards and sell them for less than face value to get cash.

Turns out she was on drugs. At the first sign of theft, I would drug test my spouse and let them know it is absolutely not ok to steal from the family. By the time I found out, I had lost over $300,000 in less than six moths.

Consider Checking Out...