Escaping from Economic Abuse

Help with Financial Abuse
and Creative Ways to Save Money

Economic Abuse and Financial Abuse can be very subtle -- telling you what you can and cannot buy or requiring you give over all your money and bank accounts. At no point does anyone have the right to take money from you or control how you spend it.

Here are some examples of financially abusive behavior:

  • Giving you an allowance and closely watching what you buy.
  • Placing your paycheck in their account and denying you access to it.
  • Keeping you from seeing shared bank accounts or records.
  • Forbidding you to work or limiting the hours you do.
  • Preventing you from going to work by taking your car or keys.
  • Getting you fired by harassing you, your employer or coworkers on the job.
  • Hiding or stealing your student financial aid check or outside financial support.
  • Using your social security number to obtain credit without your permission.
  • Using your child’s social security number to claim an income tax refund without your permission.
  • Maxing out your credit cards without your permission.
  • Refusing to give you money, food, rent, medicine or clothing.
  • Causing visible bruises and scars so that you are too embarrassed to go to work.
  • Using funds from your children’s tuition or a joint savings account without your knowledge.
  • Spending money on themselves but not allowing you to do the same.(1)

Knowing Your Options:

You have a lot more options than you think you do. You may live with economic abuse, and he may have convinced you that you will not make it on your own, or he may have taken all your money but you have options.

Many of the women I work with can’t leave an abusive relationship because of economic abuse. Their abuser has taken all their money. But there are ways that you can start to save.

How One Lady Found Creative Ways to Save Money:

One lady I worked with had a husband that went through her entire grocery bill, he had to see the product. She and I created a plan that worked for her.

She would go out and purchase the most expensive items (that her husband would allow) and once he saw the product she would return those items back to market and purchase the cheaper items. For example she would buy the shampoo and conditioner that was $9.00 per bottle each.

Once he saw the bill and the bottle then she would go back to the store and return all the items she bought and exchange it for the cheapest brand. She would take the cheaper brand shampoo and conditioner and pour it into the expensive name brand bottle, using the same name brand bottle month after month.

She was able to do this with cereal, pasta sauce, salad dressings, paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent and a whole variety of products she used.

Another was she would buy organic produce from the grocery store and once the husband saw it and the receipt she would go to the market return that one and then go to the 99 cent store and purchase the same products for real cheap.

This was able to save her over $360-450 per month and many times even more.

Another thing she started doing was buying her friends gas and her friend would give her cash. She would take the money and put it in her savings account.

I know this sounds deceptive, but she was in a very serious situation that needed some serious planning and ways to put money away – this was her only hope. Let me remind you when two become one the money is both of theirs, and if he is keeping her from her money, then he is stealing from her.

It’s TIME to STOP!

So many women say to me that there is no way they can do anything to get out. Their husband monitors everything they do. I want you to STOP telling yourself this. Yes, he may control you but you do have options. If you are serious about escaping from economic abuse you need to do some things.

  1. Take a serious evaluation of your day.
  2. Do you work outside the home? That means you have a lunch break, use that time, use the afternoon breaks too.
  3. Does your husband work outside the home? Than he is gone for 8 hours, use that time.
  4. Do you go to the grocery store, Target, take the kids for a walk? You have time to do things. Use your time wisely, plan accordingly.
  5. Do you have friends that can help? Ask them.
  6. If you are serious about leaving this financially abusive relationship, than you have to make some hard choices, you can’t keep taking on the role of a victim. It’s time to stand up and take on the role of a VICTOR.

You can be victorious; you just need to decide to do it.

  1. Decide today to help yourself and your children.
  2. Decide today that you are going to have that beautiful life you deserve.
  3. Decide today to start to make wise choices to get you out of the abusive relationship.
  4. Decide today that you deserve better.
  5. Decide today that you are more valuable than how he is treating you.
  6. Decide today that you will make it.
  7. Decide today that you will find 5 ways to start saving money.
  8. Decide today that you will not touch the money until you need it for when you escape.

(1)Adapted from

More related Articles on Economic Abuse and Abusive Relationships please see:

Emotionally Abusive Relationships

How to Leave an Abuser

More on Leaving an Abusive Relationship

For more ideas on Economic Abuse and Creative Ways to Save Money please see my other website ( for great ideas:

Income at Home

Learning to Save Money

Save Money Tips

How to Save Money Fast

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