My wife and I have been married almost eleven years, and I wouldn't change it for the world.
Nonetheless, even though we've been sharing our finances that long, getting it right is still a work in progress. We're on board with our personal finance plan and all that, but we are still learning how to work together with our finances.The one question that we don't want to be asking each other:
You spent HOW much?!
Couple Money talked about the idea of a spending threshold. Actually, it's more of a spending discussion threshold. If the amount to be spent is over the threshold, then the purchase must be discussed before it happens. When they were first married, their spending threshold was $100. We had one at one point; it was either $50 or $100. I can't remember which. (Squirrel.)
We should, however, feel free to talk through purchases of any amount. I know from our standpoint that we can use more discussion about where our money is going, and more monitoring of how we're doing with regard to our financial goals. I don't think our discussions have gotten tedious yet, so we're probably not doing it too much yet.
I do remember a few weeks ago as I was going through MyPoints emails that I asked my wife about magazines. The magazines would have cost about $20 — plus there was a special in the MyPoints email — but she really didn't have any need for the ones I thought she might like. One of the best deals you can make for yourself is not buying something that you don't need! But if I had said to myself, “Eh, it's only $20; I don't need to talk to my wife about this!” then I would have wasted $20.
Going back almost ten years, I thought my wife was going to have a conniption when I bid $400 for a one-ounce gold coin at an auction. To her relief, I was outbid; the coin went for $500. (It's worth $1,700 now, but that's not the point.)
That wasn't a pleasant experience for either one of us because I threw her a curve ball. She wasn't expecting me to put $400 on the line. We hadn't discussed it.
Now I know better. Actually, we both know better. It's nice to have transparency with what we're thinking of buying.