The past couple of months have been interesting financially. Hubby finally got his severance package, we got our deposit back, and we got our income tax. Although moving costs money (storage, last month’s rent, and movers, along with the other crazy things that happened), we had a decent cushion even after paying bills. Before we moved, I was cleaning the house when I found a receipt on our table. My husband had went shopping, something he very rarely does, and he showed me the things he got. It was basically one outfit: a shirt, a hat, and some jeans. Being a 3rd generation bargain shopper, I assumed he took the same route. I looked at that receipt and if I was drinking something, I surely would have choked. His outfit cost almost $300.

I found a similar receipt later for another trip he took and was upset again. He’s been saying “oh, I’m going to get this” or “I gotta buy that” and I’ve kept my mouth closed for the most part. I did bring up the first receipt, and he mentioned he “needed” the clothes (I’ll admit he did need new clothes, since his weight has fluctuated, nothing fits him) but he really couldn’t justify the price. For that amount of money, I could’ve gotten him several outfits, but I digress.

When hubby gets money, he also likes to splurge on his family. His sister’s birthday party is this evening and she has done so much for him. To show his gratification, he bought her several presents. He then sought out things to get for his parents and for himself. I was wondering “so…do I get anything?” Sure enough the next day I got Shari’s Berries delivered right to the front door.  He told me how much he spent and it seemed like a good value, but my concerns about money kept me from enjoying them to their fullest.

Yesterday, I used the money I had been saving to buy a bike. I recently became really serious about my fitness, setting goals to lose weight, become a runner, and eventually participate in a triathlon. The bike wasn’t cheap but wasn’t nearly as expensive as some of the ones I’ve seen. When we got in the car after I purchased my bike, I asked why he looked irritated. He said I could’ve found a better bargain for my bike. Well I’ll be damned. I told him I got the bike I wanted, didn’t have to assemble it, supported a small business, and will make sure I ride it literally until the wheels fall off.

So when I saw him splurging on his family members, I half-jokingly-half-seriously asked him “so what are you going to get me?” He said “you got your bike, didn’t you?” I was livid! I not so quietly flipped out. I told him “you had nothing to do with me getting my bike. I bought it, not you.” He said “well didn’t you use the tax refund money?” I said “no, I used my money that I earned. I used tax return money for paying my bills. And even with that, you didn’t give me tax refund money. The government did.”

The complicated thing is our money system. We have our individual accounts and our joint account to pay joint bills. Well, now that we’re living in separate households, we don’t really have joint bills anymore. Just our phone bill. We usually don’t confront or discuss our independent bills and finances, but I thought he was spending recklessly, and I’m sure he did too. However, my purchase, that I’ve been waiting on and researched thoroughly, didn’t touch the amount of money he’s been spending.

I’m now thinking that this money system is not good, because it could spark arguments like these. “Why did you spend that much money? This is my money.” This can easily cause a divide in our marriage. I’m considering talking to him about joining our finances, but not sure how that could work with us being in separate households.

How do you and your spouse handle money? What do you think about my husband’s purchases? What’s your opinion on my argument about my bike?