The husband and wife writing team over at Broke Professionals posted an interesting question this week: Do you need permission from a spouse before making a $100 purchase?
Mr. Broke Professional says he sees “no reason why the rare $100.00 purchase should first require a telephone call to a spouse. Why should someone have to negotiate with their spouse every time they are trying to buy a new I-pod nano or a tennis racket, for example.”
His wife, Mrs. Broke Professional, had a different take. She writes, “In the grand scheme of purchases $100.00 may not seem like a large sum of money but over time it adds up.”
Here at the Northern Cheapskate house, we’ve had a long-standing, unwritten rule in our home for many years that we would always talk with each other before we made a $100 purchase. Most of the time, we talk before we even make a $50 discretionary purchase.
We have this “rule” because we care about how we’re spending our money. We want to stay on track with our goals and make sure that we’re on the same page when it comes to our finances.
We know firsthand how easy it is for small purchases to add up into big dents in the savings account. It’s easy to let a sense of entitlement make it acceptable to take money away from a long-term goal.
We have this “rule” because we care about our marriage. Money is one of the leading causes of fights between spouses. The more we talk about money in an open, honest manner, the less fights we have about money.
This isn’t about control. It’s about being a team. It’s about realizing that the money decisions you make as individual affect your family as a whole.