A mother in Guangxi, China, wasn’t thrilled at first when she heard a crash coming from the family’s living room.
Upon heading to the living room to investigate, though, the mom’s discovery—that her daughter had broken a vase—ended up being more than just a reason to scold her child.
According to a story reported by The China Press, the vase broken by the girl turned out to be far more than just an ornamental decoration for the house. It had actually been used by the girl’s father as a place to store money he was secreting away, hiding it little by little where his wife and family wouldn’t suspect.
“I was sitting in my bed and suddenly, I heard a loud sound coming from the living room. I quickly jumped out of bed and ran outside. Then I saw the broken vase with a lot of money in it.
“I texted my husband and asked him to come back. His facial expression changed when he stepped into the house,” the wife said, via a translation of her interview.
In total, the money added up to around 5,000 yuan, the equivalent of around US$740, all in small bills. The money, according to the wife, had been saved up over the 13 years following the family’s purchase of their home—all by the husband as change after eating a common street food called bihun.
As the story goes, the husband immediately knew he’d been found out when he got home after the girl’s accident, and he came clean as soon as he saw the broken vase.
He certainly wouldn’t be the first spouse to keep a secret stash of money, as countless stories pop up across the globe of spouses ferreting away chunks of change in secret bank accounts and offshore holdings. Lawyers have entire tutorials explaining to clients about secret, separate funds held by their spouses, and in some extreme cases there have been spouses that hide entire homes and properties from their families.
In this instance, though, the discovery didn’t exactly cause tremendous outrage for the wife—just plenty of laughter. According to her, she was more amused than anything when the secret stash was discovered; after all, her husband had barely managed to save up a quarter of a single year’s average income in China over the course of 13 years.
“After more than ten years, he only saved a few thousand Yuan, that’s so funny!” she said. If he was trying to hide away some secret form of wealth, he certainly wasn’t doing a very good job of it!
The story didn’t reveal what the family did with the husband’s hilariously small secret stash, whether they put it into the family’s savings or if they used it to buy the wife something nice as an apology. But regardless of what they’ve done with this money for now, one thing is pretty clear—if this husband plans to start saving up again, chances are he’s going to have to be a whole lot smarter about it!