Finances- when do you consult each other?

posted 1 year ago in Finances
Post # 31
1573 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

A $50 shared decision point would just get a “no” from me. That wouldn’t cover dinner, getting my hair done, a pair of shoes, a dress… I work. I will not discuss buying perfume.

I think it might be worthwhile for you each to fund separate accounts with a base level of $- $500, $2000 – whatever works for you guys and then add to it biweekly with whatever your “separate spending” amounts are (it sounds like he’d want it to be somewhere around $50-100).  You guys can agree to spend your separate funds however you like, whenever you like.

 The problem with a $100 or $200 “discussion” limit is that one person might make three $60 purchases without needing to bring it up, but the other person has to get an okay for $115. That isn’t fair and doesn’t really get you toward any financial goals.  

Those separate accounts can just be separate checking accounts with both of your names on them, it’s just that you can each do what you like. If you decide to save up for a handbag or he decides to buy lunch out everyday, you guys will still have an overall agreement you can stick to with flexibility built in.

Post # 32
915 posts
Busy bee

We both tend (at least I try!) to be somewhat minimalist and only buy stuff when we need it or when we expect to get a lot of use out of it. We don’t need each other’s permission to make large purchases, but if he’s buying a new phone for instance he’ll let me know ahead of time. Sometimes if he’s buying music gear I’ll side eye him a little and make him sell his old stuff first. Since we are both largely responsible with our money, there’s more accountability around ‘adding to clutter’ than any given dollar amount. 

When we were saving for a down payment for our home in our very HCOL area, we were definitely more frugal, and we didn’t even need to set a budget because we were both committed and aligned to the same goal. 

Post # 33
2608 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

“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. 

Post # 34
2549 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

We’re fairly comfortable by real world standards. We have a common main account that we pay pretty much everything from. And then we each have a personal account (that the other had access to but never uses) that we deposit a small amount to each time we get paid. I get additional money allotted in our budget for my “grooming” expenses. Clothes, jewelry, etc. come out of my personal acct. My husband spends his personal money on food, mostly; choosing to eat out rather than eat at home. We each kind of turn a blind eye when the other person spends out of the main account for non-budget, small items. Realistically, though, any higher ($100 or more) purchases are likely discussed because of the nature of the purchase rather than the dollar amount being spent. My husband is my best friend, so he’s likely to hear about most things that I buy, just because he has an interest in me as a person.

Post # 35
2918 posts
Sugar bee

Eh for us it’s probably about $100. We have completely joint account so it’s more letting each other know before it pops up on the statement. My husband will buy things like a gaming system or new game and I’ll buy things like a purse or baby items and we just let each other know. 

Post # 36
8 posts
  • Wedding: May 2015

We both work full time and have our own accounts as well as a joint account and don’t really consult eachother for purchases. If i’m buying something large i’ll sometimes give a heads up like “Hey, just ordered a new XXXX”. We don’t give each other ‘permission’ for anything. But we are both not super spendy either so its never been an issue. Maybe if we were buying something large that we both needed to put thought into we would discuss it, like a car or TV.

Post # 37
1616 posts
Bumble bee

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@peanutbutterandjam:   not really. We operate  the same.

We talk about things we want to do and make plans, not really consulting.

We don’t really spend day to day, anything over a couple hundred we probably converse  about. 

Fh has a penchant for toys but those are plans we make together. 

We currently each have personal accounts but we’ve been using his only for awhile. We’re going joint in a few weeks when travel restrictions lift. I have no issue..his income is many times mine, he is incredibly generous and it’s all our money so I have no issues.  As I said, we aren’t spendy. The only thing I do not hold back on is quality groceries. 

Post # 38
4639 posts
Honey bee

Ok. I lied.  We have recently had a lot of discussions about buying a third real estate property.  Obviously that is something that takes a lot of consideration on both parts.  

Post # 39
353 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

I completely agree with a couple PPs. We don’t “consult” but will show what I bought or explain what a credit card charge is. For example, I bought a new US flag from a website I’ve never used before.

We honestly don’t talk about money that much. As long as we put our wage percentage into the joint account, we have auto transfers for saving and most bills. Our fun money is our own to do whatever with.

That being said, if one of us spent $100 on something we’d probably want to show it off to each other, so we’re well aware of what the other buys. 

Post # 40
712 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We have joint account for all family expenses and anything comes from this accounts must be known. Then we both have separate account for our fun money (amount is discussed) and can be use for anything as we wish.

Post # 41
8516 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

We let eachother know about “fun” purchases (even little ones) only because we get excited lol. We’re not big spenders, so when we buy something other than groceries or diapers, it’s worth sharing the news.

Post # 42
371 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
@peanutbutterandjam:  To answer your question about consulting frequently with a low “trigger point”: we have “fun money” in our budget for each of us per month that we can spend on whatever we want. Since that’s built in to our budget, we only consult on non-necessary items that fall outside of the budget. For example, if we need a new litter box or to re-stock on toiletries, I’ll just make the purchase because it’s a necessity and let him know later that the Target charge from today was for x necessity. But if I see a pair of shoes that are pretty but not necessary, I consult. It helps us to stay on budget and keep moving toward our bigger goals. 

Post # 43
261 posts
Helper bee

We probably talk about everything (other than reoccurring things, ie groceries, gas, etc). I wouldn’t say consult, but probably alert… “I’m going to Target to look for X, Y, and Z”…

We have a joint account, as well as personal accounts. If I had to put a number on it, I’d be more in the $50 camp. We don’t buy a lot of high-cost items, so it wouldn’t be something that would come up often. I’m jealous of some of you all that have such high limits! 

Post # 44
397 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

We don’t have an exact amount, but if I were to go out shopping get my hair done, buy something for my kids, or buy some small furnishings for my house etc. I would probably spend up to $300- $350 in a day without mentioning it to my husband.

One thing I do tell him about, unlike my friends who hide it from their husbands is when I’ve done Botox or filler. Those run anywhere from 350 to 500, and I do let my husband know I’m doing it ahead of time.
I have many friends who don’t tell their husbands they are doing it at all and just skim the money! 


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