Couple Money

How Much Did You Spend??!!

Reflecting on what matters most to us

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Have you ever been surprised by your spouse's purchases?

Let me be more specific – have you ever been surprised by how much your spouse spent on something and NOT tell you first?

I'm not talking about sneaking around and hiding something but making a purchase from the joint account without consulting you.

I ask because I was doing was reviewing all of our transactions from the joint account last year for the 2012 net worth review and I noticed some things have a changed over the last few years. 

Counting. Every. Penny. (And Then Some)

When we first got married we had an agreement that if something was more than $100, we'd call the other before buying.

Part of it was because we were on a very tight budget – I was still in college and my husband was working his first post graduation job.

We weren't sure how long my internship was going to be, so we figured it would be smart to just count his income for the monthly budget and my income was used to save and pay down debts.

That meant pretty much every household purchase we made that first year was by both of us. Trips to the store to pick up things had both of us going.

It worked well and we were able to save money even on a limited income and we even managed to pay off our car loan.

Breathing Room…Maybe Too Much?

Now 6 years later, we kind of drifted away from that system of having a spending threshold.

It's kind of unofficially there, but we don't have an amount. Instead, we look at our Mint updates to have an idea of the wiggle room we have with family purchases.

For some of our household goods like diapers, cat food/litter, and linens I use Amazon.

I've also picked up things during trips to the stores for projects like painting the house or organizing our space.

I tend to buy things as the need comes up or if I see a deal on something we've been wanting.

Honestly, we haven't broken our budget, but I wonder if having a second opinion for these purchases can help us save a bit more every month.

Not so much to keep tabs on one another, but to get a second opinion before we buy. Maybe we should get something else or maybe we can wait a bit longer. It can be helpful to have that instant feedback.

To see if that's the case for the next couple of months, I'll review non-regular household purchases. (Things like diapers and cat stuff are on a subscription basis with Amazon to take advantage of the discount, so those will be excluded.)

Thoughts on Spending Thresholds

I'd like to hear how you guys handle your money. How have the two of your worked out your spending?

Do you have a spending threshold between the two of you (officially or unofficially)? Do you call or give a heads up before you buy?

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