How to Pull Off a Spouse’s Birthday Surprise When You Share Finances

When you and your wife share finances, pulling off special surprises for the big day can be tricky. Specially you’re both independent women used to sharing finances and a checking account. Before you give up on the idea of a surprise, or make things too complicated for yourself, consider trying a different route to getting the surprise that you need to keep some romance in birthday surprises.

Gift card It

Have you received a gift card recently? Consider buying something for your spouse with it. If they’re not a fan of whatever store you prefer, look into something like a Visa gift card, to disguise the exact purchase you’ll make. If they look at the bank statement they’ll just see it was a purchase at your grocery store. It could even be bought on the same trip to get groceries. This way you can use the visa gift card to shop online without them getting notifications from a website about a purchase. This way it won’t show up in your bank statement.  There’s nothing wrong with telling your spouse ahead of time that you’re going out of your way to keep things a secret, if they ask about the gift card.

Carefully with Cash

The grocery store is a great place to get cash back, if you’re more interested in this option. Making a withdrawal from the bank is another good way to keep things under cover, but cash back is a handy option for that impulse gift buy. You’ll need to know exactly how much you’ll need, so be sure of prices before you try this option out. This is a sneaky way to get cash aside without her noticing an ATM withdrawal. No red flags. Remember, this is for a fun surprise not to hide finances in the long term.

Home and Hand

It’s not all about the money. Non-bought gifts can be just as good a surprise, and can often end up being incredibly special and meaningful. Designing a fun t-shirt by hand, or creating something like a memory book is a good way to keep your gift under wraps and off the shared finances list. You can print  your favorite pictures in 3×5 frames and get cubicle tape so she can hang them at her cubicle or office at work. You can write a poem or a sketch they’ll love. Money doesn’t make the gift, the thoughtfulness makes it special. Think of something to express your love.

The Gift of an Experience

Instead of giving your spouse a gift up front, why not give them the gift of a new adventure together? Would she love seeing the US Women’s Soccer team play live? Maybe a Haley Kiyoko concert or Broadway show on tour? Get a cute card, or even one related to your plans, and write down exactly where you plan to take them for a date or a trip, or what events you want the two of you to do. You can print pictures of the destination and put them in a birthday card. Still super, still a surprise.  Big purchases are hard to hide, but you can make the actual purchase once they know and surprise them with the announcement!

A Little Assistance

You’ve considered every option on the list, but none of them are really speaking to you. If you’re absolutely certain of what you want to get, why not ask a close friend to buy the gift online one a specialty shop for you? This way it doesn’t show up on your online purchases and they won’t accidentally open it. You can easily pay them back while still keeping your plans a surprise for your spouse. For this option, it’s a good idea to be in the room during purchasing, just to make sure there are no miscommunications or gifting mixups.

The great part about internet boutiques and stores is you can shop from your cellphone next to your unsuspecting spouse. Find something that they can’t find at a big box store. For example DHD Wear sells biking t-shirts. If your spouse is nerdy find something from Box Lunch. If they’re always in business attire shop Express Mens. 

Even if you share all of your finances, you can still give your spouse a surprise gift type of thrill. Make sure you plan things out in advance, trust yourself to know what works best for the two of you, and, if you need it, don’t be afraid to ask for a little help.

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