“Consult” is the wrong word for us. We’re both pretty middle-of-the-road in terms of financial responsibility. We make terrible money by WeddingBee standards (I’m always shocked at the polls, ha), but make just over twice the average household income for our (low COL) state. Our savings is fine. We prioritize savings each month, but we definitely don’t have like, a year of emergency funds. So, with that for context, we squirrel away money at the beginning of the pay period for savings, pay our bills, and then are pretty free with the money we have left.
As a result, we tell each other about basically every purchase we make outside of groceries. Even a $15 shirt at Target. Never in a “consulting” way, or “checking in”, but “hey, I bought this thing earlier.” Just as a heads up to explain why a $60 charge at TJ Maxx or an extra $20 above our normal grocery bill at Target may appear. I don’t ask/consult when I book a hair appointment, but I do give the heads up that I’m about to drop $150.
In terms of ACTUAL consulting, like asking each other’s opinion about money, I’d say anything above $75 is fair game for discussion. It’s not like either of us will say no to the other, but if it’s something big, we may talk the other one into waiting or picking something different. Like others said though, it may be that it’s just because of where we are in life/financially. We’re trying to save for a house and pay off some misc small CC debt, so sometimes we need an accountability partner to balance our frugality and free-spending ways.
I do think it’s interesting though, moving to joint finances and becoming a financial unit. $50-$75 may not seem like a lot of money to most people, and objectively, it’s not. But, we tend to spend a good chunk of our expendable income on non-material things…lunches out, dinners, gas money for a weekend getaway, etc. So, our money each month to spend on clothes/jewelry/video games/material extras is a lot less than others at our income level. We also spend a lot of money on food at the grocery store, because we’re tall people who exercise a fair amount, and good-quality meat/grains/produce/dairy isn’t cheap! On the flip side, someone with our income who cooked all their meals at home and saved for 1 big trip a year, and didn’t prioritize organic/free range groceries, would be able to drop more money in one go without blinking an eye.