It’s the biggest challenge to have a joint credit card with my spouse

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This becomes problematic at certain times of the year.


Key points

  • Having a shared credit card allows me and my spouse to easily track our joint expenses.
  • It’s also difficult to purchase items without the other person knowing.
  • This can make holiday gift giving difficult.

When my husband and I made the decision to get married and combine our lives years ago, we also made the decision to combine our finances. It meant opening a joint current accountsavings account and credit card.

I happen to like sharing these accounts with my husband because it makes it easier for us to track our expenses and savings. My husband and I realized a long time ago that we had similar financial goals, so there’s no reason not to combine accounts and use our resources to achieve them. And just to be clear, we have ground rules for expenses.

In a nutshell, we do not make any major purchases without consulting each other. And we each get a small amount of money that we are allowed to spend each month on ourselves, no questions asked.

All in all, this system works very well for us. But when it comes to that joint credit cardI tend to get in trouble from time to time.

Because we both have access to this account, it’s impossible for either of us to make a purchase without the other knowing. And that makes buying gifts for my husband a hard thing to do.

It’s about buying stuff on the sly

My husband and I are both more into experiences than things. As such, I’m more likely to buy something like concert tickets for him as a birthday present than something like a shirt or gadget. But either way, buying her presents can be difficult due to our credit card situation.

Now there are a few different steps I take to get around this. The first is to ask my mom to use her credit card to make these purchases for me and then pay her back.

In the past, I’ve explained that a $250 check to my mom was a refund for groceries she bought at a specialty store — but that’s the kind of excuse you can’t use. only once. And so now, I usually only pay my mom back after she gives my husband her gift, and that way it doesn’t spoil the surprise.

But either way, I sometimes regret the decision to keep all of our accounts in common, not because it’s a bad system, but because of all the complications surrounding gifts. And to be clear, my husband struggles with this as much as I do. In fact, he’s probably having a harder time because he knows how diligent I am about checking our credit card balance weekly.

A challenge we can meet

Unfortunately, I have many friends who regularly argue with their spouses about money. And so, while gifts can be a challenge given our credit card situation, in the grand scheme of money-related issues that can arise between spouses, it’s a very good “problem” to have.

In the end, my husband and I will just have to continue to be sneaky about buying each other presents while maintaining the element of surprise. And really, it’s very good.

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