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to ask how SAHMs buy gifts for their DP and keep it a surprise

(78 Posts)
pizzaqueen Wed 20-Feb-13 21:34:20

This is something that I've always wondered but more so now that many of my friends are SAHMs. If your partner is the sole earner how can you buy him gifts or surprise treats for birthday/Xmas/fathers day without him knowing a) how much you've spent and b) where you bought it as it will surely appear on his bank statement so he'll know what it's likely to be. Then isn't it just like he buys his own gifts so isn't really being 'treated' by you at all as he paid for it?

This isn't meant to be a dig at SAHMs at all - good on you for being able to make it work. Financially I don't have any option but to go to work but I'm fortunate its only 3 days a week and I mostly enjoy my job, although I'd love to have more time at home with DS.

DP and I both put an equal amount of money in a joint account every month to cover mortgage, bills, food etc and anything we have left over is our own to pay for our own cars, phones and general spending money (I'm left with about £50 a month). So if I want to treat him or DS or buy gift for my mum I can do this without him knowing and it'll be a total surprise, surely not like this if you're completely reliant on his finances?

I enjoy having some financial independence and if it was all in one pot I think it would cause friction e.g. I like to buy clothes, go out for lunch which he thinks is unnecessary and he likes the odd flutter at the bookies which I think is wasteful. But it's our own money to do with what we SAHMS need to ask their partner about every purchase and spending decision?

So tell me if I'm being unreasonable and you have some kind of logical solution to this part of sharing finances that I can't get my head around.

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 20-Feb-13 23:24:52

All money into one account then the same amount of free/spending money into our own accounts, which we spend on whatever we fancy going out clothes books etc

Always been the same, even before when we both worked ft

aldiwhore Wed 20-Feb-13 23:21:47

I was a SAHM. I am not anymore. Both of us put everything into our accounts, everything is ours, we both have what we wish... we take OUT £100 per month each in personal spends (we actually spend more or less on ourselves depending on how well off we're feeling).

Since marriage, our money has been ours. We feel it's the only 'fair' way, a percentage would of course have left me penniless and my DH loaded. Everything goes into the pot, we both take out an agreed share (that can change).

My DH has never known about any surprise gift I may have bought for him, often it's gone over my personal agreed monthly budget, but y'know, I did that old fashioned thing and saved up. So did he.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 20-Feb-13 23:17:54

I've always wondered that too, MsVestibule. AND, does it mean that the higher earning partner will have a larger retirement income? If I earn twice what DH does but spend more thriftily, does that mean I retire with wads of cash and watch him eating value catfood?

I'm not necessarily opposed to any way of doing it, but I can't envision having a different standard of living to my spouse. And surely, that's the logical end point of these arrangements?

nokidshere Wed 20-Feb-13 23:14:55

We have had joint accounts for over 30 years and it never caused any problems. Money goes in , the bills go out and then what's left is what we live on. Who spends what is immaterial although we both check as a matter of courtesy if we want to buy big items.

I keep a check online daily to make sure everything is paid and correct and I don't think that either of us have ever checked what has been spent on birthdays etc. it's just money

MsVestibule Wed 20-Feb-13 23:12:47

pizzaqueen When you are in a position that you are earning more than your DH, how will you work out your finances? Do you feel it's fair that if you're earning more, you should have more 'spending money' than him? I'm a bit confused about people who pay in percentages of their wages to cover bills - although it sounds fair in theory, this will often mean that the lower earner will have a lower amount of personal spending money.

Of course, some people feel it's fair that if they earn more, they should be able to spend more on themselves - it's just never been my way.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 20-Feb-13 23:01:55

In our case it has arisen because I bought a house on my own when I was single, DH never did, so when we bought this house together it was me who already knew how to go about it and understood mortgages, life assurance, house insurance etc, so I just carried on doing it.

Morloth Wed 20-Feb-13 23:00:23

We have a joint account and we are jointly responsible for everything, all bills in both names, mortgage in both names, credit card in both names etc.

I trust him, if I didn't trust him I wouldn't be married to him - it is that simple.

Of course it could all go tits up, but those are dice I am willing to roll.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 20-Feb-13 22:59:12

DH could check all the bank statements if he wanted to, he knows where they are and mostly it is all direct debits anyway, so I think he'd manage if anything happened to me, the main mortgage offset account could tick along happily for years without any real effort. He just isn't that bothered and we live within our means.

SummerRainIsADistantMemory Wed 20-Feb-13 22:58:05

Just read through and saw the question about why dps are so financially illiterate.

In our case dp just doesn't care, he trusts me to deal with it and is useless with money himself. I wish he'd pay some attention as I do worry about something happening to me... I even manage his business finances and so his books so he should know but he's got some sort of mental block about that stuff.

I'd like to think if the worst happened he'd manage but in reality I worry he wouldn't

SummerRainIsADistantMemory Wed 20-Feb-13 22:44:10

I deal with all the financial stuff.... Dp doesn't have any interest beyond occasionally asking 's there enough on the account for me to pick up x?'. As a result he is actually the one who finds it difficult to surprise me with anything. He tends to put a few quid here and there in a jug and raids it at my birthday and Christmas. It would be easier if we had more spare cash, as it is we barely have enough for food and bills so we'd be left short if extra was taken without planning.

I tend to use the few quid I get for mystery shopping assignments for presents, both his abd the kids' so it doesn't impact the joint account.

Bogeyface Wed 20-Feb-13 22:39:33

I totally agree, I think it has just ended up this way because of me checking so often that he felt he didnt need to. He managed his money perfectly well before we got together so I am sure he will again should the need arise. Although I do sometimes think I should put the log in info in with my will!

Jinsei Wed 20-Feb-13 22:37:25

Well exactly bogey, I don't think it's fair for all of the responsibility to be on one person! But also, what if something happened to that person?! Surely it's better if both partners have a pretty good idea of how much the household spends on what.

jellybeans Wed 20-Feb-13 22:27:21

We have a joint account and can both spend as we like. We also have seperate savings/ISAs with the same amount paid in monthly. In addition I have a seperate account for CB. So it is easy to sneak pressies for DH! We share all money, was same when we both worked.

Bogeyface Wed 20-Feb-13 22:25:32

I am a bit hmm about all these men who supposedly wouldn't even know where to find the bank statements. Surely it isn't desirable for either half of a couple to be financially illiterate. confused

I still can't get my head around the fact that he is happy to take my word for it. I could tell him we had a tenner in the bank when we had a thousand, and he would believe me, and tailor his spending accordingly. I check the accounts a) first thing in the morning, I put the kettle on when I come down and log on while its coming to the boil , b) before any buying/payments c) after any cash withdrawals, so it can be several times a day. I really dont get how he can be so cavalier about it, but I suppose if he was as anal about it as I am, perhaps I could relax a bit too!

MissVerinder Wed 20-Feb-13 22:21:40

Well, I work from home and all money gets paid into our joint account including DP's wages.

All the bills come out of there, but I take £200 pw out for shopping/petrol etc. DP gets a weekly allowance and spends it on what he likes.

I deal with all the bank stuff which leaves me the opportunity to siphon funds to our other joint bank account (savings) which I can then push to my personal account for gift buying.

We have a gift budget though, so I will tell him if I'm moving anything to my account as I buy all the gifts except my own.

DP also gets DLA so that is paid into his personal account and he buys whatever he needs for his condition from there (which can be quite a lot) and will move from the joint savings if he wants me to buy a gift.

This might sound a bit controlling, but he did buy himself £4/5k worth of motorbike without discussing it and hide it at his mum's house.

Twice angry.

Jinsei Wed 20-Feb-13 22:16:46

I am a bit hmm about all these men who supposedly wouldn't even know where to find the bank statements. Surely it isn't desirable for either half of a couple to be financially illiterate. confused

We have a joint account and separate accounts of our own as well. I am the main earner so my salary goes straight into the joint account and most of my spending comes out of it too, though I do use my other accounts for secret surprise purchases etc. DH uses the joint account for household stuff but his salary goes into his own account and he tends to use that for his personal expenditure, presents for me etc. It might sound unfair that he doesn't contribute to the household pot but it works out that we have roughly the same amount of disposable income each month. But it's all very fluid really - at the end of the day, if we need to move money around between accounts, that's what we do.

PicaK Wed 20-Feb-13 22:16:11

OP. Like other sahms on here it's not his money it's OUR money. We still have a bank account each, a joint account for bills and a savings account each. We get the same spending money each.

Tbh we've been evening up the spending money since we first moved in together. And that was me earning more for a lot of years.

But to answer your question, dh never looks at any bank statements so he's no idea what I spend!

merrymouse Wed 20-Feb-13 22:15:39

Agree with others - this isn't really about SAHMs, it's about how you arrange your finances.

Many SAHPs would argue that they make an equal contribution to the running/upkeep of the household and are as entitled as their other half to have their own bank account, funded by wages.

Other people (both working or not) just share an account and are completely transparent about their spending.

janji Wed 20-Feb-13 22:15:36

We have joint account and I'm a sahm. I withdraw it as cash, luckily dh never questions how much/why I withdraw money.

AmberSocks Wed 20-Feb-13 22:15:18

my dh never checks bank account so he never knows how much ive spent or what ive spent it on.

Bogeyface Wed 20-Feb-13 22:13:43

It is things like the "death in service" benefits that I am conscious I am losing (let's hope I don't die but you never know!!) That is one of the things that has been worrying me since H was made redundant. His payout would have been enough to the clear the mortgage, and as we couldnt afford extra cover, it was nice to know it was there. Now, both jobless (but looking) it really does worry me that we have no life/illness insurance at all sad

scottishmummy Wed 20-Feb-13 22:12:54

Im not housewife Completely separate personal monies,joint for bills,mortgage
I earn own money no way I'd have joint account
Mine is mine,his is his

pizzaqueen Wed 20-Feb-13 22:10:02

Lapsuslinguae we earn almost exactly the same amount each month (but he works more hours) he pays childcare as his employers offer vouchers and I just put a but extra in the joint account so it's equal. That's fine for now but there will come a time that I earn more than him and will probably split thing proportional to what we earn then. DP has about the same left as me each month (£50). He does have a pension though. I'm in my early twenties though so fully intend to take out a pension when I go back to work full time when DS s at school.

Bogeyface Wed 20-Feb-13 22:09:03

Ihave friends who keep their money separate, split the supermarket shopping, and "borrow" and "owe" each other money, I just don't get it.

My mum and dad are like this, at my mums insistence. She has always had an almost pathological fear of debt, owed in or out, and she will often say "your dad still owes me £20 from last weeks housekeeping...." She keeps everything secret, he only found out a few months ago what she earned when he had to fill in some forms to do with a court case they were bringing against his ex employers, the first time in 45 years that he knew and she was livid that she had to put it down. Tbh I think it might have been because she earned far more than he thought, and although he paid the bills, mortgage etc, she paid for the holidays and extras, except that I rather suspect she wasnt spending anywhere near what she earned and her savings were way higher than he thought. I could understand if he is a spendthrift or a gambler/drinker etc but he isnt. He earned a very high salary (director of v v large company, you will have heard of it) and was generosity itself, there was nothing she couldnt have.

Very odd....

NopeStillNothing Wed 20-Feb-13 22:07:17

Easy Peasy. I have a credit card grin

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