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How many of you guys have ask before you make a major purchase?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Jack Straw, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    In some of the posts I see where guys have to "sell the idea" of a major purchase to their spouse. I do discuss major purchases with my wife, but I don't have to sell the idea. If its more than a couple of hundred dollars I talk to her about it to be respectful, but if I really want something she knows I'm gonna get it. Maybe I have so it well because I never spend money frivolously. Like to hear how other guys have it (and gals!).

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    I've found that it's MUCH easier to ask for
    forgiveness than it is to ask for permission... :)
  3. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

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    I am not a guy, but here's my take on the question. We have (and always have):

    1.) "House money" encompasses the household checking account, the savings account, HSA account, IRAs, and investment accounts. We each contribute to this on a weekly basis. Any withdrawals in excess of basic bills are discussed (see below). I believe that because we handle our money this way we rarely argue about it and can pretty much have whatever we want within reason. We switch off the responsibility of reconciling the accounts so we're both in touch and familiar with the balances and the fluctuations in them.
    2.) "His money" is his checking account and his savings account.
    3.) "My money" is my checking account and my savings account.

    The latter two are our personal funds, we may do with them whatever we wish. He just bought a new electric guitar, I had two file cabinets powdercoated and two tools made for the woodstove in my studio. I think having "your own" money is a wise and healthy thing. We think it's kind of weird that a couple of our friends "get an allowance" and have to "ask" their spouses for money for something like clothing, but if they're happy with the arrangement who are we to question it? NO WAY we'd ever live that way, however.

    A funny aside; several years ago the husband was real hot buy a splitter. I was hesitant but grudgingly went along with the "hare brained scheme". The last laugh has been entirely on me. Last year I'd finally had enough when it took me 25 minutes to get the 25 yr. old, 24" gas range to hold 350 degrees so I could make a cake. While it cooled I went to the store and purchased a brand spankin' new GE Profile gas range and arranged to have it installed. He was stunned and skeptical. Until he used it the first time, lol. I married a really smart man who is as thoughtful as I about spending money. We make a good team.
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    It's a respect thing. Just think if she started spending "your" money on what you consider to be crap. Moving forward as a team and as partners sure beats being a lone ranger.
  5. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Feeling the Heat

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    if I made impulsive purchases, I don't think I'd be married to the same gal for almost 30 years now. We discuss every major purchase, even my motorcycles and my machine tools and if it's not conducive to my wife, I don't get it. That's especially true now. I'm retired and she still works full time.

    Marriage is a business agreement and business purchases need to be discussed among the principals
  6. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    this only works if you are bringing home enough money to cover bills. When my wife and I are struggling to pay the mortgage and other stuff, and she wants to buy stuff we can't afford, it pisses me off. Now she wants to spend a couple of thousand of our income tax to go to disney world. In mean time we will probably be loosing our house with in a couple of months.
  7. Tarmsolo60

    Tarmsolo60 Feeling the Heat

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    We each have our own money. I pay some bills, she pays some bills, and we split the mortgage. Has worked great for the 16 years we have been married.

    We may ask opinions on a purchase just so we are on the same "page", but not really asking permission. We are lucky to each have enough means to make it work this way. Neither of us are really big spenders anyway.
  8. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    I make a little more than she does, but effectively, half of our income is hers.

    We're not flush enough to just go and drop a few hundred (let alone a few thousand) on an impulse.

    We have to look at our budget and upcoming non-recurring expenses and determine how to pay for a major purchase. I usually handle the money, so I tend to have a better handle on what we can and can't afford, but I still feel like she needs to be involved in the decision making, even if her response to me is "OK, if you think we can afford it".

    We're still young, so our financial situation is getting better every year. What I would consider a "major purchase" seems to change each year.

    -SF
  9. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Anything over 1 or 2 hundred we discuss. I wouldn't buy it if I didn't need it so it generally gets bought, but I do it anyway as I hope she would do to me.

    Matt
  10. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    As others have said . . . it's a matter of respect. In our household we both tend to make around the same amount . . . some years she makes more than me (depending on her hours and where she is working and sometimes I make more than her -- fact is, it doesn't really matter who makes more money since we're on the same page in terms of what we value, what we want to spend our money on and what we want to save.)

    Generally, we tend to discuss any purchase of $150 or more . . . with the possible exception being Christmas time. It used to be in our younger years we would discuss any purchase over $50, but as the financial situation has improved we have increased the number. Now we have enough money in the savings to easily boost that number higher, but it seems to both of us that we both have no qualms or issues if one of us buys something that we really want if it's under the $150 limit . . . and so we've retained this arbitrary number since we're both comfortable with that figure.

    That said, anything over that $150 we discuss together . . . and while my wife has never ever said no to something I wanted to buy (and I am the bigger spender of the two of us, although we are both rather fiscally conservative) . . . she does let me know if she is leery of paying for something. Truth be told, she has never said no to any purchases . . . ATV, woodsplitter, snowmobile . . . etc. but on the other hand she has told me when she was a bit anxious about spending more for a car . . . and out of respect I passed on the car I wanted to purchase . . . and instead found a different cheaper car which I have liked just as much . . . and so in the process we are both happy.

    We are a bit old-fashioned in our finances. No separate accounts . . . just one checking and one savings account. Each week X amount goes into savings . . . and X amount is automatically taken out of my check for my pension. Her check and the remainder of my check go into our checking account which pays the bills. In addition, each week we both take $40 as our "allowance" . . . which she tends to save and never spend (I call her my Bank of Heidi) while I have as of late been taking the money and putting it into two separate "accounts" (two desk compartments actually) for a snowmobile riding/replacement fund and a vacation/cruise fund. All other expenses (gassing her car and my car, insurance, mortgage, etc.) is paid out of checking which I handle . . . but I let her know where we're at in terms of the accounts.

    It may not be for everyone . . . and I am convinced that there is no right or wrong way to do finances . . . what is right however is that you find a way where both partners realize that in fact they are partners . . . I wouldn't say business partners . . . but partners who are looking out for each other . . . and so, sometimes, one must delay grafitication for one's self when there is a greater need . . . and sometimes one must realize that there is a time and place to loosen up the purse strings and enjoy life so to speak . . . what definitely helps is when both partners share the same financial views and goals vs. having one partner wanting to spend money and the other wanting to save money.
  11. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    We're working like beavers to get out of debt right now. I deposit my paycheck minus $29 (rounds it to the nearest hundred) in the checking account and I get the 29 no questions asked. She has the debit card and checkbook because I'm not a good boy when I get hold of the account. We both want to be out of debt so we don't buy anything big without running it by each other. We're not buying anything big right now anyway. If I really wanted something then it's not like I have to get congress to pass a spending bill... I just tell her what I want and ask if we have enough extra this week to cover it. I learned the hard way that 2 people taking care of the money and account and spending whatever they want is a prescription for bankruptcy. Someone a few posts above talked about Disney. My wife wanted to go to Disney in April but I nixed that. It's going to be over $2000 for us and a complete waste of money. My boys don't even like Disney things (disney has turned into a princess thing anyway). So I told her that we could buy 3 big screen tv's and have them for 10 years and actually have something instead of blowing 2000 and us being stressed out every day. What really changed her mind was we'd be stealing that $2000 from paying off the van and it'd set us back another 3 months before we were debt free. I think we'll enjoy a vacation more when it's actually paid for instead of borrowing for it.
  12. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    Growing up, my dad always took the position "there will always be more money". He made a good deal of money in semiconductor sales, but he also spent a good deal of money. To hear him talk about it... "it was a good ride while it lasted." Unfortunately, I don't know that he'll ever be able to retire, and when my mother retires from teaching, I'm almost certain that she'll need to continue working, even if only part time.

    I love my parents dearly, but... they were/are not good financial roll models. They both spent (and still do spend) way too much money, often without talking to each other first. If Becky and I operated like that, our checking account would constantly be overdrawn (and I'm not certain that my parents' is not).

    When we bought our house, we stretched a little bit, knowing that this is where we plan to stay. None of that "starter home" crap for us! Neither of us are fans if big houses (we like big yards though!), so this place, at 1600sqft with 5 acres is just about right for us. As our earning potential increases over the years, it shouldn't be too difficult to get it paid off early.

    Getting out of debt is a big deal to us as well. I'm convinced that the only way we'll be able to retire is if our house is paid off well before retirement.

    Years before the economy tanked, we decided that we needed to change the way we thought about money and become more self sufficient (one of the reasons we put in the stove!). I bought my stove in December of 2007 (although I didn't get the install finished until early February). I spent a good year prior to that researching to make sure it was the right choice for us.

    We have had to finance a few things in the last 5 years since we bought the house in order to get by, but we're working our butts off to get things paid off as fast as possible. I'm hoping to have the bulk of the credit cards paid off by spring (that has been years coming!), and sink the money we were paying towards them into paying off the cars as quickly as possible. I think a lot of folks call it "snowballing", where as things are paid off, you roll that payment into the next debt.

    Once the bulk of the debt is paid off... We'll re-evaluate our savings strategy (can't afford to save right now when I'm getting killed by compound interest), and start paying a good chunk extra on the house payment every month.

    -SF
  13. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    In a business environ, I had to show numbers to the accountant for purchases that would save money over time, so a little dtail on purchasing thoughts are sort of second nature.
    No powerpoint presentations required, :) but if nothing else, it's familial respect, uysually not for 'permission' , but rather 'blessing'.
    Procedures help keep the peace. Worth it even when not necessary.
    Better than the other half not caring, IMO.

    It is good to plant seeds for ideas, too. That works both ways.
  14. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    Good way to put it!!

    If I were to go spend a bunch of money on something without getting the proper "blessing" first, and it turned out to be a bad idea/purchase... I'd never hear the end of it.

    -SF
  15. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    Keep at it Sly... We put everything on credit for the first 5 years. This included 30K to adopt our first boy. We scraped together every type of credit to make the adoption happen and once we became parents, we realized how big a hole we were digging. It was a great feeling to finally pay off the second mortgage and the Amex Blue where we ended up consolidating the cards and debt to. Soon as the tax check comes the van will be paid off and then it's emergency fund and college funds. It's taken us a while but it feels good knowing that all we'll have left is the house which is on a 15 yr note and by the time we get to that we'll be pretty quick paying that off. The idea of actually leaving something for my children is very appealing. I think a lot of people are starting to come around to see how awful debt is and the wreck it's turned our economy in to. Now if we could impose tariffs on countries using slave labor (china) and we got back to actually making stuff... we could turn it all around. Anyway, at first it doesn't seem like you are gaining... but keep at it and you'll be burning through your debt once you have a few victories.
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I fixed it for you.
  17. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    We both know how much money we have. I always discuss purchases with my wife and she does the same. If it comes to a point where I feel we "NEED" something, like say...a 56" plasma TV and she says we don't, I'll buy it anyway, but it ends up costing me double when she finds something she "needs" as well. If there is a mutual respect in the relationship, all major purchases that go towards the home should be discussed.

    I think next year our house needs a bassboat in the driveway
  18. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    They do make wonderful decorations, don't they?

    I love the way a house looks with a bass boat in the driveway!

    -SF
  19. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Though I make the bulk of our money, my wife runs the house while I'm working 60-70 hours per week. All the money is our money. Any significant purchases are discussed and should be agreed on. My wife will almost never talk me out of spending money. She knows I am not a big spender. We racked up some debt by getting married, buying a car, a house, a new furnace for that house, and my wife going back to school in the same year about 7 years ago. Things are getting under control now.
    I think that the whole respect thing is pretty important.
  20. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

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    Gee Chris. I'm sorry to learn the you and your wife are facing such a grim time financially. It must be terribly stressful for both of you. Does your wife understand how bad things are right now or are you the "one in charge" and not made your situation clear to her? I, too, would be very angry if my husband piddled away money when we were really "up against it". Maybe wanting to go to Disneyworld is just her way of trying to block out something very painful and worrisome. Not that it's a good way to deal with things, but sometimes people do dumb things when they're scared or feel powerless. Again, I'm sorry you're in such a jam.
  21. bfgmt

    bfgmt New Member

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    I'M THE BOSS OF MY HOUSE! (and my wife told me I could say that) LOL No actually its a respect thing we discuss it first. Especially since I love to spend money and she likes to save it. My dad on the other hand buys what he wants when he wants , He also gets up after supper and watches tv without saying a word (sometimes he even says i'm hungry when are you gonna make me something to eat) things have changed over the years I would go hungry if i did that
  22. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    We never make a major (over $500) purchase w/o discussing first and then we both need to agree. Heck, sometimes we don't make a small purchase w/o discussing. But I think it really depends on your financial position as to how you can approach these things. We aren't rolling in the dough but we are not hurting either...both work(although she works 6 days e/o week) and both carry our fair share of household responsibilities. All our money goes into any one of 3 jointly held accounts and that's how it's been for 30+ years...but hey, whatever works for you! We just feel it's a totally 50/50 proposition and we approach most things that way.
    The other day she informed me that she bought new curtains(I knew it was coming but for the life of me I don't know why we need them!) and told me what they cost online...then promptly handed me the cash to pay for them when the CC bill came in...all in rolls of wrapped quarters. She was very proud of the fact that she saved the $$ without it affecting the budget...and actually I was tickled too!
    Our(my) problem is.....whenever I say I would like to get something she says it's OK!! Usually I don't have the cash and I don't want to make payments so it just goes on the list of things I will get one day.
    I worked 20+ years with people and their $$ and the most important piece of advice I have given people in that capacity is get yourself out of debt! The sooner you do the better a lot of things will be for you...I know it's easier said than done and it's not something that happens overnight but it saddens me to see people that could have gotten out of debt and didn't. Just kept living for today thinking those paychecks will always be there....then one day something negative happens to their income and they stand to lose a lot because they still don't own it. A real shame.
  23. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    I'd probably spend $$ if I knew how to get it out of the bank, LOL. I don't actually purchase anything, except lunch and gas. Every couple years the wife says to go pick out a new guitar (she says its easier than trying to pick out interesting presents for me, likely something I'll say is great and never touch). We discuss big stuff, basically so I can do research and find the best widget for the money. She's not much of a shopper (she doesn't buy lots of stuff, and usually looks for bargains) so its not a big deal. We know lots of folks (my brother and sisters) who have no clue what to do with money and spend it before its made, so we get to see how the other half lives (and complains) and know that we dont want to be them.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I don't ask, but we do discuss large purchases. Often she will give good council. I've made several large purchases recently and don't want her to have heart failure when she sees the bill.
  25. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    I earn the money so I make the money decisions. Not to mention if my wife had access to the money we wouldn't have any. No Joke

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