(Closed) Just found out FI made big purchase behind my back!

posted 11 years ago in Money
Post # 17
1557 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011



OP– if he is working at a shop he will likely need ALL his own tools. Not every employer gives tool allowances, but they still expect you to have the tools with which to complete any job. My partner works in a trade where he practically needs access to any tool at any time, so he often spends quite a bit of money on tools without consulting me at all. I am 100% fine with that because it is an investment in his trade that can enable him to properly and efficiently complete more jobs which = more money in the long run (through his employer being happy with his work to more jobs being completed to bonuses, etc).

I too am a major saver, but I understand that he needs these things[tools] to make a living. While it may seem like a lot of money, and I might not be ecstatic about it, I certainly can justify it.

I think you two should just sit down and discuss what your expectations are vs. what he is going to need for his new job–if he doesn’t already own a lot of tools I would expect that he may have more purchases down the road. The best thing to do is try and spread out the tool spending, rather than buy everything all at once as specialty (trade) tools can be really expensive.

Post # 18
716 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall

@FallBride100111:I think you’re justified in wanting to have known beforehand–especially with money being tight, and this is definitely something you should discuss now so it doesn’t happen in the future. But it’s probably not something to lose trust in him over, unless he does things like this a lot, ya know? I believe someone above said he probably felt this was an investment for his job, and just didn’t think straight as far as telling you. Guys. *shrug*

Post # 19
33 posts
  • Wedding: January 2011

We have a major purchases (anything over $100) discussion agreement. Unless it’s for a gift for one another, we discuss any purchases beyond non-essentials (groceries, gas, etc.) with one another. To us, it’s a respect and total disclosure sort of thing.

FYI…we have a joint account for savings and still maintain separate accounts for everyday spending.


I’d be upset if he spent $700 without telling me…whether it’s HIS money or not. We’re both working toward common goals and we both prefer to be in the know.

Post # 20
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

IMO he should have talked to you about buying the tools, but seeing as he just started a new job at a car shop, he most likely needed to buy the tools, as most places that have to do with cars require you to buy and use your own tools. those tool are very expensive so i understand the high price. while him not talking to you about this is definately unfair, you also need to understand he probably did not dish out 500 dollars without having a fair reason behind it. talk to him and make it clear that you would like to talk about large purchases from now. yes tools are expensive, and no it was not fair for him to just go buy them without telling you (even though since hes a guy and just bought a 700 dollar tool box, you should have expected new tools were next to come). but as long as your bills are paid and money is being put aside for the wedding this purchase should be the least of your worries. on the bright side its not like hes spending thousands of dollars on pointless and useless things. not trying to stick up for him because hiding it was wrong, but at the same time, not to be rude, but, you should have seen the signs that this was going to eventually happen.

Post # 21
1174 posts
Bumble bee

@FallBride100111:It’s obvious you are upset but you are not married and he does not have to ask your permission to buy something for work. Listen to how over emotional you sound to compare buying flowers that will be thrown away at the end of the night to tools that he has to use at work for years and years. I am a woman and I think you sound unreasonable so I can imagine him being upset. I think its best to let it go and maybe discuss it later when you can be more logical and can express your thoughts without being upset.

Post # 23
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I don’t think you’re being unreasonable but I think he hid the purchase to avoid worrying you.  I don’t know how much he uses the tools, but if he honestly needed them for work, I think there should be a pass (assuming the purchase is legitimate and not excessive). 

Fiance and I don’t live together, but we agreed that purchases excess of $100 should be disclosed (not necessarily permission..just a call or text saying “babe, i’m going to buy so and so for $150”). 

Post # 24
1557 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011


was it possibly a replacement or specialty tool that he didn’t already have?

I totally hear you about the tool vs shoe thing, my partner can be a bit like that sometimes too.

Maybe you two can work out a ‘budget’ for tools to ensure that he’s only purchasing what he needs vs wants?

Post # 25
1088 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I agree with PPs, what this boils down to is lack of communication and clear ground rules regarding money. The two of you need to sit down with a calculator and figure out a budget. If he regularly needs new tools for his job, that expense should be factored into the budget. Contributions toward the wedding should also be factored into the budget.

I know you want to save as much as possible for the wedding, but I highly recommend allowing some “fun money” in the budget. Expecting him to put every spare cent he earns into the wedding is too difficult and is setting him up for failure in my opinion. We all need to have a little bit of financial freedom to stay sane. If you choose to put all your fun money into the wedding savings, that’s your choice, but you can’t make your Fiance feel bad about not doing the same.

If your Fiance wants to make unnecessary splurges, as long as they’re not being made with money that’s already been earmarked for budget items, he should not have to consult with you about them. If an emergency comes up and he absolutely needs a new tool to do a job but the budgeted money has already been spent, then he needs to work with you to figure out how to afford that tool.

I would also consider seeing a marriage/relationship counsellor about the names he calls you. He may have issues with controlling his temper, or he may lack proper respect for you. Either way, it’s not acceptable for him to call you that, no matter what the circumstances.



Post # 26
3993 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

The beautiful thing about SnapOn tools is that they have lifetime guarantees. My Fiance and I are the same way, down to the fact that he is buying from SnapOn right now too. He is an automotive tech and, like has been pointed out, he NEEDS all of these tools. I do think he should have told you. TOLD you, not asked you. I don’t think he needed to ask you at all, but I do get why you’re upset he didn’t tell you.

My advice on this is more long-term. If he is just like my Fiance (which it sounds like) then I don’t recommend a joint account when you are married. We are going to have three accounts: One joint for bills, one for me, one for him. We will contribute 50/50 to everything, retirements included, but then what’s left is ours. If I want to go buy shoes, I can go buy shoes. If he wants to go buy car parts, he can go buy car parts, as long as neither negatively affect the other.

I haven’t read all of the other responses, but have you guys ever done a Myers-Briggs personality type test? When I was doing an Undergrad Psyc class for my Major, we both had to do one. My FI’s type has “SP” in it….know what my professor said? “Don’t give this type the checkbook.” They’re not always good with money long-term.

Post # 27
12264 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I agree with @lefeymw and PPs.  If he has trouble with savings and stuff, you both need to sit down and put together a clear guideline of what goes where, and then he can spend his remainder however he wants and discuss with you if he does not have enough and wants to dip into another account.  The problem with not having budget set up, is that when you look at 500 dollars, he see tools, and you see flowers.  He probably doesnt care to spend 500 on flowers and thinks that is money wasted, so you’ll never be able to say, that money could have bought flowers to him.  He could just say flowers are a waste, i NEED my tools.  What’s done is done now, so I’d let him off the hook on this purchase, but set forth new rules going forward.

Post # 28
7039 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

We do what a lot of the PPs have said – we have a set amount of money set aside in our own accounts each month that we can do whatever we want with. We can’t go over that amount without consulting each other. Absolutely every other cent goes into our joint account and savings. I think this would be a system that would be better for you guys. Then, he is forced to budget. Did he need the tools *right this moment*, or could he have waited a month or two for his personal account to recover? I bet he didn’t need them immediately, he just didn;t want to delay gratification.

Money = #1 cause of divorce. You guys need to find a system that works for both of you….and i’d figure that out before marriage if I were you.

Post # 29
3441 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I think the larger issue may be in a couple of months when you get married will you have seperate or joint financials? If the answer is seperate then as long as he pays his agreed amount for bills and puts the agreed amount into spending then he is really allowed to spend his money as he pleases. However you do not seem to happy with having this type of arrangement, hopefully you discuss this before getting married. DH and I have 100% joint finances therefore we do consult each other on larger purchases and it works for us since we see it as both our money and therefore we try to decide together what the best way to spend our money is.

Post # 31
1009 posts
Bumble bee

This is tricky.  Hiding purchases is very bad – you have a right to be upset about that.  As far as him spending the money – it depends on how you have agreed to handle money.  If you have discussed discussing purchases over $x and he spent more than that, you have a right to be upset.  If you maintain seperate accounts and haven’t combined money, then its really his money to spend how he wants.

I think the best think to do is get on the same page financially and discuss how you are going to handle money now and how you are going to handle money after you are married.  That way everyone is on the same page and is playing by the same rules.  Good luck!

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