Spending Habits - Do You Tell Your Spouse About Every Purchase? Would They Know If You Didn't?

Thank you to TurboTax for sponsoring my writing about household finances.Learn more about how TurboTax can help you find every tax deduction you deserve. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

So recently I have been thinking about doing a complete redesign for Pretty Pink Momma.  I know what your thinking - "didn't you just redesign it a few months ago?", at least that's what my husband thought.  Its true, I did have the design itch awhile back but it was more like nine months ago, which in blog terms seems like ions.  This time however I am talking way more than a theme update or or background change.  I want a completely new look and on top of that I want to switch from Blogger to WordPress.  It would be a huge change and that change doesn't come cheap.  My need versus my husband's interpretation of my need are two totally different opinions when it comes to this matter.

See, the hubs and I have a deal.  I can only spend on my blog what I make from it.  Which is great and all during normal circumstances because I typically don't spend much enhancing it on a regular basis.  But this redesign will be quite a big chunk of change and I don't always have that much coming in.  But I REALLY want to do it.  Like, A LOT.  So the other day, I decided to put faith in my blog and commit to this redesign without my husband's permission under the assumption that by the time I would need the other half of the deposit I would have earned it.

Besides.... if I hadn't told him what I had planned to do with our money he would be none the wiser.


Because even though he is the official breadwinner of the family I am the unofficial accountant for the family.  I do all the budgeting, grocery shopping, bill paying, frivolous spending, etc.. for our family.  Not to mention the biggest headache of them all - our taxes.  He just brings home the money but I decide where, why and how much gets delegated to what.  It's a stressful job but SOMEBODY has to do it. 

If you ask me I think he prefers his ignorant bliss.  That way when we are short on cash or can't pay a bill he can give me his high and mighty attitude and lecture about all of our crazy spending habits and why its my fault that we're in whatever pickle we're in at that particular moment .  Which I think is total BS because I think if he really cared what was going on with our money situation he would make a conscious effort to sit down and learn to pay the bills with me when I do it.  Which by the way I have offered to teach him several times throughout the course of our 13 year relationship.

But if he did that then he might have to get off of his high horse and take some responsibility for our overspending.

Luckily for me, the very next morning after I had decided to take matters into my own hands I was asked to take part in a couple of blog projects that will essentially pay for the entire redesign.  So, problem solved.  I'm happy.  My husband's happy.  All is right in the world.

But it got me thinking...

How many women out there have total control of the family finances?  How much do we spend that our husband's don't know about?  Is it justifiable because they choose to let us take the reigns?  So we indulge ourselves from time to time with a new purse, or new outfit or in my case - a new blog design.  All the while telling ourselves what they don't know won't hurt them.

I admit I am 100% guilty of taking advantage of my husband's trust of our finances.  I may not tell him everything, like about those new earrings or that $20 in scratch lotto, but I do tell him about the really important things.  Like how much money we have until pay day.  Or if I am planning on making a big purchase that its a joint decision not just my own.  Or if a credit card isn't paid on time because I forgot to send the payment.  Those things he is well aware of.  And he even knows when I go on a shopping spree and come back with bags of new clothes.

For the most part my husband wants me buy the things that make me happy - if we can afford them that is.  But because I handle our finances ultimately its up to me to decide if we can spare the extra or not.  Which sometimes means that I will put out the cash for something I think is really important and he doesn't.

In my opinion, I think that its a consequence of his deliberate decision to exclude himself from the daily task of keeping up with our finances.  Therefore he doesn't have a leg to stand on when he complains about the situation.  Especially when he knows I am prone to weakness when I spot a great bargain and I know that I could justify the splurge.

I know that some couples have totally different bank accounts and then a joint that they both contribute to for joint bills.  However, I only think that this system works if both parties are working and have income coming in.  In our case the only extra money I bring in is from blogging and it ain't much!  Besides, we have always had one bank account between the two of us.  From the moment we moved in together, even though we both worked full time, we shared an account and it has stayed that way. 

Obviously money management is a big stressor in many marriages because no matter what system works for you and your spouse it always seems like there is never enough cash flow for each person to spend it exactly as they would want to.  I mean really, have you ever heard of a couple fighting  because they had too much money and they couldn't agree on how to spend it?  I aspire to be that wealthy some day.   If only money really did grow on trees!

So what's your take on this subject?  Are you in charge of the finances in your relationship?  Is your spouse involved in every aspect of the household budget or does that fall only on your shoulders?  Do you indulge yourself without your partner's knowledge?   Tell me!



Lexie Lane said…
Yes! I think many of us HAVE to indulge ourselves without our hubbies knowing about it. Otherwise, there may be more divorces out there!

This was a fun read. Thanks for sharing and what a great website!

Lexie Lane

P.S. When you have a chance, please stop by and join our moms on our Community section as well! Thanks again!