Buy Stuff Without Getting Caught
No wife wants to know how much you have been spending on Jeep parts. Sure, she might get a bit hot if the rent goes unpaid again because you had to have an overdrive, but all in all she doesn't want to know. What use would she have for an exact dollar amount, other than telling a divorce lawyer?
Here is an example that should strike fear into any man's heart. Fellow WillysTech member Art Contoni has been working on a CJ-2A. There are only three possible explanations for why he has a financial tally
on his website, with nary a misleading number! Either his wife is legally blind, she can't read English, or Art is a raving lunatic crack-smoking fiend. (Art gave me permission to say that, sort of...) Imagine what would happen if our wives had access to data like this with our projects.
Leave no paper trail. That is first and foremost for a married man buying Jeep parts. Do you have a checkbook that makes carbon copies of each check you write? Those are vile, evil things. Get the plain sort of checkbook, where you write each entry in a separate ledger. After writing a check to "MegaBucks 4WD," make the ledger entry as "Hallmark Card Shop." Occasionally give her a card, or she will think you are having an affair.
Another good ledger entry is your local school district. It seems like the kids always need new lunch tickets or field trip money. You can only use this one during the school year, but it is another good reason to send the kids to summer school. You could also join your local school board and make a push for year-round schools. Don't use this ruse if your kids have grown up and moved away. If you don't have kids, you may want to consider having some. With all their expense, it is easy to dole out a few extra nondescript monetary outlays.
Plan your major purchases as close to payday as possible. Write those checks before the bills are paid. Only the last checks in each pay cycle will bounce. It looks a lot better for you if the check to the phone company bounces. Imagine the repercussions if the bank announces that your check for a new set of springs was the culprit.
Married men have difficulty grasping the concept of "Checkbook Radar." There is a magic dollar amount above which you will get in trouble. Generally, you can write all the $30 checks you'd like. If you write a $50 check or two, you'll have some 'splaining to do. As an example, consider a sale on shocks down at MegaBucks 4WD. At $25 each, when you buy three, you get the fourth one for free. A single man would think, "Wow, for only $75 I can get a set of four shocks." The married man knows that is nothing but trouble. No point in sleeping on the couch over this one. Buy four separate shocks over a period of several weeks even though it costs $25 more. The checkbook ledger will only show a check to the kids' school, one to the paperboy, one more for gas, and another for some groceries.
If she wises up to that, you'll have to set the stage for the old "Working on the Brakes" ploy. While driving around in the Jeep, head towards a long downgrade. While chatting with your soul mate, casually mention that you were thinking about doing some brake work soon. At the instant you start descending the hill, get very quiet and pretend to pump the brakes a few times while the speed picks up. (Note: Make sure your brakes are actually working first) You will instantly have approval for a brake-job sized expenditure. The next day, don't let her see you installing those brand new shocks instead. You might want to spread a little dirt on the shocks right away to help hide them. Next month when you try this again, you can say you only replaced the brake shoes but were wondering if you should have replaced the wheel cylinders, too.
Another option is to get your wife involved in an expensive hobby. Ceramics or macramé are poor choices. She needs to be collecting rare porcelain dolls or china. Most any kind of antiques are good. Not garage sale antiques, but the overpriced stuff you can only get at a genuine antique shop. It is a bit hard for her to say anything to you when she has just added another lead crystal vase to the collection on the mantle.
Occasionally, you will be called on the carpet to explain any planned expenses. Let's say you have your eye on a project vehicle that last ran when Eisenhower was in the White House. Point out how cheap the purchase price is. The seller will even let you keep the tree growing through the floorboards for firewood. Never, ever, admit that it will need everything repaired or replaced. Give vague, noncommittal answers if pressed for a figure. "Oh honey, for just a few hundred dollars, I should have it running soon. That is a small price when compared to how much I love you." Pretty good, huh? If you have your wife properly conditioned, she will melt like butter. She will forget the money and remember the display of affection. Remember, her idea of a "few hundred dollars" is about $300. You know darn well it will be more like $3000, but since you never defined "few" you should be okay with properly scattered expenditures.
Good luck in your endeavors. Remember, leave no paper trail...