In a world dominated by the wealthy, money has become the most reliable tool a narcissist will use to get the power, control, validation, admiration, and reassurance that they so desperately need to survive. Unfortunately, their exploitative nature has created a staggering number of different forms of financial abuse that plague a large majority of the narcissistic environments today. One of the ways that financial abuse can manifest in narcissistic environments is through the hiding of money. 

As a general rule, a narcissist will hide money from others for their own personal gain. Outside of their lack of empathy, sense of entitlement, sense of specialness, and incurable need to manipulate and exploit others, there isn’t a logical explanation for their desire to hide money from others.

A narcissist’s expertise when it comes to manipulating and exploiting others makes it nearly impossible to spot the signs of financial abuse before it is too late. However, narcissists are takers. They are going to continue to financially abuse you until they’re either caught or you run out of money to give. Having an awareness of the different ways that narcissists hide money will put you in a better position to stop them before they take everything. 

A victim of narcissistic abuse learning about the different forms of financial abuse

Understanding the Different Ways That Narcissists Hide Money

The financial abuse that narcissists subject their victims to has the potential to horrifically change the course of their lives. As a society we’re becoming more and more aware of narcissism and narcissistic abuse, but narcissists can be really intelligent, which means that they are becoming better and better at disguising themselves behind a falsified identity. 

The severity of financial abuse makes it really important for victims of narcissistic abuse to acquire a wide variety of techniques to look past the falsified identity of the narcissist in their lives. 

The most reliable way that a victim of a narcissist’s financial abuse can begin to acquire a wide variety of techniques to see past the falsified identity that shields the sneaky ways that a narcissist hides money is by learning about all of the different environments and relationships that narcissists have been known to hide money in. 

We’ve invited # of our Unfilteredd Participants to talk about their experiences with a narcissist hiding money from them to give readers the most helpful information possible. While reading their stories, it is important to have a clear understanding of what hiding money really means. 

While there are many narcissists who physically hide money in walls, mattresses, shoes, and even the tank of a toilet, there are also much more sophisticated ways they hide money that readers must be aware of!

Narcissists Hide Money In Romantic Relationships

My ex-husband abused me financially right out of the gate. On our first date he stole money out of my purse when I wasn’t looking and had the audacity to pay for our dinner with it. 

The only reason I even found out was because we had an argument a few months later because I was tired of him asking me for money and he tried guilt tripping me by telling me that he was so broke the night that we met that he had to steal money from my purse to pay for the date.

Two weeks after our first date I caught him ordering something from an online store with my credit card and my computer. When I say all of the signs were there, I mean all of the signs were there. He was just so darn charming! 

I found a way to justify every single thing he did because on the days he wasn’t stealing from me, he made me feel amazing. Fast forward a year into our relationship, we were getting married and had a baby on the way. 

He insisted on being in control of the finances. We had joint bank accounts and every month he would set aside an allowance for me and at the time it made sense to me. It was my first baby and he manipulated me into believing that having an allowance was good for the baby because I wouldn’t be stressed over money. 

A narcissist manipulating his pregnant wife into giving him control of the finances

Everything seemed to become a thousand times more controlling when our daughter was born. He became obsessed over saving money, cutting corners, and being a cheapskate every chance he could get! 

It was around my daughter’s fifth birthday that my ex-husband’s mother died and he came into a considerable amount of money. 

Instead of depositing it into our joint bank account, he opened his own account because if the inheritance is put into a joint account it’s a marital asset. When he put it into his personal account, it is no longer a marital asset and can’t be divided if we were to divorce. 

I didn’t feel entitled to the money but I had so much debt from funding his gambling addiction, a maxed out credit card in my name, a five year old daughter, and bills to pay. 

The last thing I wanted to do was start an argument so I floated the idea of me going back to work which made him furious but he still refused to use the money to help our family.

I never ended up getting back to work, just divorced and 90k in debt that I’ll be paid off when I’m 76…. I guess that is the price for freedom nowadays. 

Narcissists Hide Money At Work

I had a narcissistic boss for just under 5 years. He used a lot of gaslighting, narcissistic rage, and triangulation to control everyone but the financial abuse was devastating. It took me years to learn this but my ex-boss had a huge gambling addiction.

Again, I didn’t find out until later on but he would go to casinos, card rooms, and play the lottery on a regular basis but he would also make bets in the office too.

He would make bets on football games with his employees, he would make bets about who would show up late, and he even made bets about his own job performance. At the time, it came off as really strange but many of us just assumed he was really competitive and thought nothing more of it.

In my fourth year at the company, we started falling behind on shipments, unable to pay for crucial aspects of our business like advertising and outsourcing, and he even started falling way behind on our paychecks. It turned out that my narcissistic ex-boss was trying to pay off his gambling debt with the money that the company made. We all ended up losing our jobs and some lost their reputation in the industry because of the shady things that the narcissist manipulated them into doing.

Narcissists Hide Money When They’re Having an Affair/Cheating

I was married to my narcissistic ex-husband for 13 years and had no idea how much money he made from work. Even though I payed all of the bills on time, he insisted on being in control of my finances as well. When money was tight and I asked for help with groceries, the kids, or miscellaneous stuff, he would get really pissed off and find ways to say no.

A narcissist going into a narcissistic rage because his wife is asking for money for groceries

It wasn’t until we got divorced that I found out he was making towards the high end of six figures every year, living an entirely separate life with a girlfriend and two children twenty minutes away from our home, and had drained our children’s college fund that I created to support his grandiose lifestyle with his other family.

Narcissists Hide Money When They’re Preparing to Get Divorced

Financial abuse was a huge part of our relationship. My ex husband manipulated me into believing that I was horrible with money, so I let him be in control of the finances. We would use my income to pay the bills and whatever money was left over he would divide it by the number of “mistakes” I made that month and that was my allowance. I kid you not, there were many months where my allowance was less than $15.

Eventually I said enough is enough and filed for divorce. My sister helped me financially until I could get back on my feet. Things were really hard but I was excited to get my life back on track. In all honesty, I didn’t want to go through the legal hoops for getting divorced but my sister convinced me that I needed to get the money he stole from me back and looking back, it was the right decision.

Sadly, my husband “got fired” from his job so he could avoid paying alimony but I found out months later that he was still working, just getting paid under the table.

A narcissist asking his boss to fire him and pay him under the table  so he can hide money from his ex wife.

Hiding Money In a Family Setting

My big sister made sure that she was in charge of my parent’s well-being when they got older. At first, I thought that she genuinely wanted to help them. She has been narcissistic her entire life but she was so convincing that I thought that she had turned a corner in her life.

The truth was that my sister was using our parents to fund her addictions. She was swindling our parents out of money, stealing money from the family trust fund, and even manipulating other family members into giving her money by claiming it was to help our parents.

What Should You Take Away From This Article?

A narcissist is more than capable of destroying the financial stability of their victims without any repercussions whatsoever. It’s for this reason that victims of narcissistic abuse are aware of their financial situation at all times.

It’s also really important that victims of financial abuse learn about the narcissistic behavior patterns that plague abusive relationships because abusers are really good at using techniques like gaslighting and narcissistic rage to manipulate their victims into a submissive role from which they can easily be financially abused.


This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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