Joint bank accounts and gifts


So I was wondering what to get my hubby for Christmas this year (early, I know, but he is SO hard to shop for!). What do you do when you share bank accounts? DH makes more than I do so if I bought him something essentially he’d be paying for it and vice versa. Is there another option?? DH has already said not to get him anything (he says that every year) but I want to get him something! :confused:


Nuts…I meant to post this in family life. Help me out, Mods! :o


Well, I’ll tell you what we do. Me and my wife keep joint accounts, and me being me I track every penny in Quicken.

The best way we have found that works is when we decide what to spend on each other, I give it to her in cash. For example, if we decide to spend $100 each, I give her $100 in cash. Then she can go where she wants and buy what she wants without me accidentally seeing it on a statement somewhere.

I still do it on the credit/debit cards because there is no risk of my wife seeing it on a statement (she refuses to get involved in the finances, even though I tried to force her to do the bills for a month just so she knows what have going in and coming out and where everything is. But what can you do?).

Of course, in any marriage, the best solution is something you and your hubby decide together:) And I side with your husband- I tell my wife not to get me any gifts. I already voluntarily gave up all of my Christmas gifts so that there would be money for her to take the boys on a trip------child and parent time is more valuable to me then stuff!!!



I agree that it’s good to have a surprise. Cash is a good idea, just so old-fashioned :smiley:


You are married and your money is together in a joint account. Do you still consider it “his” and “her” money even if it is together in the same account? If not, then don’t worry. :slight_smile: I don’t bring in a single penny but our money is our money, so when I buy him a gift I don’t worry about it being his, because it is both of ours.
I don’t know how closely you both watch your expenses, but if he would notice you buying something, you can tell him you are withdrawing x amount because you want to get him a little something. If you really want it to be a surprise and not tell him anything, you could get extra money back when you go buy something at a grocery store etc. I’m not sure what you had in mind, but often you can pay with checkcard and the information on the statement isn’t enough to guess what you bought, of course it depends on what you are buying and where. My dh has a card that the main one is in his name from premarriage and I have one that the main one is in my name from premarriage and we do some of the trickier purchases on that and then tell each other not to look at the statements/ online information. Then we pay it off with our regular bank account.


How about a gift of something non-monetary? I have heard of people making “coupon books” with coupons for various “favors” such as washing the car, giving a back rub, making a favorite dinner, etc. Since DH is hard to buy for anyway, he might like the services offered better than another necktie or sweater or whatever you usually buy for him. :slight_smile:


Give him a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card. I’m sure most guys will need/appreciate one when they get in trouble with their S/O! On second thought, get him a dozen - most guys need at least that many for an entire year!


Here ya go, the perfect gift for him:

“Did you say nothing?
When you were asked what you wanted for
Birthday, Anniversary, Graduation or Christmas.
Don’t you remember saying NOTHING
Well this time someone heard you, searched
high and low and found this perfect gift for you.”


my first thought in reading thread title was, great, the bank is giving away fishing rods with new accounts, i will open an account and use the premium as a gift for DH.

Even during the times I was not working and having a bit of discretionary income for myself, I always tried to earn enough in some way, temp job, babysitting, selling something of my own, to buy his gift, so he did not end up paying for it. trouble is no matter what I got, he was not pleased, ended up returning it for a bigger, better model, or for something else. We gave up long ago on exchanging gifts. We work together instead to save for something special, the past few years, for our Christmas-in-July get-together with all our kids and their families.


Why not make a donation in his honor to a charity? We’ve done that in the past. That way, can he really get mad at you for helping out someone?

Other thoughts:
mass intention for his family
a coupon for a special homecooked meal
a date night

Although, I do like that jar of nothing. :smiley:


Seriously, StratusRose, this is what we do. We sit down together and figure out how much we are going to spend on gifts. We currently have budgeted for $50 Christmas gift per person, including the kids. This is just for our immediate family, not the extended family. That way we both agree to how much we think is reasonable to spend, we know what the other expects (and thus no disappointments), we don’t get carried away spending way too much on each others gifts, etc. I think you should sit down with DH and just talk about it. If he still insists on nothing, you could say “Let’s both get something for each other that has meaning but costs no more than $20, because it would be special to have something to open on our first Christmas as a married couple.” Or you can agree that getting ready for your baby is your Christmas gift this year. Or you can agree that you get to pick a charity to donate $X to in his name and he gets to do the same for you, with it being a cause near and dear to the other’s heart.

One thing that I completely do not agree with is the mentality of “his” and “hers” money in the family bank account. If someone holds those kinds of attitudes, they should question why they even bother to have a joint account in the first place. When I was the sole bread-winner during our first year of marriage, I never thought of all that money as “mine” and when DH bought me gifts I didn’t think “Well thanks a lot, I had to pay for that MYSELF!!! :rolleyes:” That’s just not the way a loving marriage works IMHO. I knew that my DH was helping our family by getting an education so that in the future when we had children I could be a SAHM, which we both thought was best for the entire family. Now that he is the sole bread-winner, he knows that I’m also helping the family by staying at home. Caring about the other one and the well-being of the family is what matters, not the nitty-gritty of who is earning what dollar amount. But at the same time, it is important to respect each other’s feelings about money and come to an agreement on how to spend family funds on gifts.

If you do decide to buy gifts for each other but can’t use cash (such as buying online), here’s an idea that has worked in our family. For the given month, I agree to only use the ABC credit card to buy DH’s presents, and he agrees to only use the XYZ credit card, and we each stay away from the respective statements! :slight_smile: Also, you can have the gifts shipped to you at work so that one doesn’t mistakenly open the package thinking it’s their gift to their spouse only to discover it’s the opposite way around :eek:! Or one can have it shipped only to home address (or to mom’s house, or wherever) and the other to work, etc.


I always had this problem when I was married. My ex-husband did not want me to buy him any gifts. He always said he just buys himself whatever he wants so why would I use “his” money to buy him something he may or may not want.

In your situation, I think that this is something that you should sit down and talk about now, because it is only going to become more of an issue down the road when you have kids and they are going to want to give their dad gifts. I think your husband needs to realize that part of loving someone means that you want to give them things that are a physical affirmation that you care about them. In a way it is actually kind of self-centered and controlling not to let people give you gifts. I don’t think most people realize that though.

I can see where he might not want a lot of money spent on something that is a surprise that he may or may not like. Maybe instead you can agree on a small budget for getting creative and surprising him with something he wouldn’t think to get himself or if he would prefer for you to put your effort into making him a nice meal or planning an evening or a weekend out.

I just wouldn’t let it go at “no gifts.” That’s just not good for a family relationship.

Anyhow, happy birthday to your husband and hope you to find a way to recognize his birthday in a fun and meaningful way.


Seriously, this is the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in a long time! :smiley: Where can I find one???


I think what one of the first posters said - taking out the cash, sounds great! :slight_smile: DH and I, last year, just decided not to look at our bank statements and not balance our checkbook until after Dec. 25th. I wouldn’t advise that even though we knew we had enough money in our account to not have to worry about going over. If you don’t want to spend much money or he says, “Don’t get me anything” how about making him something? Or even like making him breakfast in bed or setting up a really romantic date?

I told DH not to get me anything this year too - but I really mean it. We’re tight financially and we have a wedding to go to (my best friend who lives in CA and I’m in IL) in April that is going to cost us a pretty penny (although completely worth every bit!). So, he said he’ll make something for me. When we’ve celebrated holidays and special occassions lately, it’s been a lot of creativeness and more acts of kindness than money-costing things we don’t need :).


Better yet, how about a “Get Out of Hell Free” card (or mug, or desk accessory, etc). I am a HUGE fan of these. Go to


Just get an empty jar, paint the lid if it’s unattractive, and glue/tape on a label that you can print off your computer! Use an old jam jar or a pasta sauce jar, and there you go, cheap as free! :thumbsup:


Good thing gifts aren’t either of our “love languages”. I haven’t bought my dh a gift in years–and he hasn’t bought me anything. From the moment we were married all our money was “ours” and all our stuff was “ours”. So we do things like go to an event or buy something we’d both use for Christmas. This year he did buy himself new golf clubs for his birthday. We discussed the cost before hand and he picked them out.


you’ve seen the commercial
he got his
my appliances have been ordered and will be delivered next month


LOL Yes, I love that commercial. The day I went out to buy new appliances, VISA called the house to see if our card had been stolen!!


My husband sees the money as “our” money but it’s difficult for me to wrap my brain around it I guess. I was just so used to being independent and didn’t need to accept money from anyone. I guess that’s my problem. DH says all the time “what’s mine is yours” and never gets on me about spending too much.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I liked the charity one. Maybe we can make a donation in our son’s name. :slight_smile:

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