Have you ever had a hard time buying a gift for your spouse while keeping it a surprise? I personally have a problem with it just solely on the fact that I just can’t wait for them to enjoy what I got them! Well for this post I’m talking about keeping it a secret financially.
If you are like us and have openly shared finances, you probably struggle with getting gifts without your spouse knowing. Sometimes they can even guess what it was based on the amount it cost. We also track our transactions and budgets in Mint, and are fairly vigilant in keeping track of these weekly. We also share our amazon prime account and amazon is mostly where we buy gifts from. So trying to order something we don’t want the other person to see is nearly impossible!
We thought that if we timed it right we could know whose gift would be on our doorstep on what day, but we somehow lost track, haha. Not wanting to open the boxes to straighten it out and risk spoiling a gift surprise, we just wrapped all the boxes and said we will figure it out when we open them on Christmas! hahaha… This is what that idea looked like:
This year we made a better plan, and also came up with other alternatives we might try. I wanted to share these because I’m sure we aren’t the only couple who crosses this problem :)
Split your amazon prime account
Amazon now allows you to split your account among your household members! We did that this time and it has been much easier. It works well because I can still get the free two-day shipping, and can order whatever gifts I need to get without him seeing my order history or the recently viewed items. If you don’t have amazon prime yet, I totally suggest getting it because it’s a nice convenience being able to do online shopping at home, AND getting most items with fast and free shipping.
Buy visa prepaid cards or gift cards
I knew I was buying almost all of Trevor’s gifts on amazon so I just purchased a lump sum of amazon gift cards instead of paying on my debit card. Having this be the only transaction that comes up in Mint is much harder for Trevor to figure out what I got him since he doesn’t see a specific individual dollar amount. I also knew that since we buy nearly all of our toiletries and other things every month on amazon, any leftover balance on the gift cards wouldn’t go to waste. A visa prepaid card would have also worked, especially since those are pretty much accepted anywhere.
Hide your gift transactions
We have done almost all of our christmas shopping this past week with the great deals going on, so Trevor has had to tell me a few times, “Hey don’t look at our Mint transactions for a few days until my transactions for your gifts go through and I can hide them.” He hid them on Mint by changing the date of the transaction to some random date like six months ago so that I wouldn’t see it. Of course, after christmas when nothing has to be a surprise anymore, he’ll go back and change the date of that transaction to line up correctly with the correct month.
Ship items elsewhere
Last week I actually had to sign for one of our delivered packages that happened to be a gift Trevor got for me. Sadly the delivery guy said something that kinda hinted to me at what the gift was, haha. I actually still don’t know what it could be, I have tried not to think about it so it doesn’t continue to spoil. Either way, if you’re super worried about someone else spoiling the surprise, have it sent to a family member, a friend, or a neighbor’s house for you to pick up secretly later.
When all else fails, trick them
It is hard to surprise us, Trevor and I. Sometimes a trick helps steer them from finding out! I like to get creative with this. Sometimes I will wrap a normal size box and put random things inside to weigh it down, but really there’s just a piece of paper in there that has a riddle on it or something of where the gift actually is, haha. I like doing this with big gifts especially because if that thing is wrapped and your spouse gets to stare at it every day under the tree, they think more and more about what it could be. That’s why you gotta throw them off ;) Another way to trick them is to get their gift in the same purchase with other items so the final cost confuses them.
These are just a few ideas we have come up with this year to navigate our gift-giving! If you have other ideas, please share with the rest of us! It’s also fun to hear how you have tricked people with the gifts you have given, so comment and share those too!
P.S. I did not get paid to talk about amazon or mint even though it seems like it with how passionate I am about these, haha. If you believe in something, you share it, right?!