Do you ask your husband for permission to spend money?

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{Taken on New Years Eve 2012}

As the holidays draw to a close {I know, I know, they are over… but I like to stall as I love them all so much!} I’m thinking more and more about this past Christmas… Christmas spending to be exact. I had a well thought out list with details on what I wanted to spend… a budget if you will… and then I remember adding it up, gasp! It was a chunk of money, but reasonable for the amount of people I was shopping for.

Before I started to spend any money I ran it by my husband. Our money is our money meaning we are equals even though he does make more than me. However, I choose to be the primary caregiver of our children and work less hours so my earnings are substantially less than my husbands because of this choice. Regardless, our money is still ours.

I feel completely confident spending our money using my best judgement. My husband has told me multiple times that he agrees. Yet I still run it by him before I do any spending outside of the normal household shopping… like groceries and gas.

Am I asking for permission? No, not really.

I really do think that having a healthy relationship involved compromise and communication.

I know that my husband trusts me with our money. He’s not worried that I’m spending my days at the local casinos and buying $2,500 shoes. I could go about spending for gifts and our household needs and not mention it to him and he would rarely ask about these things. But I think that it’s important for us to talk about where the money is going. We need to communicate our financial goals etc.

If you are new to talking about money here are some quick tips to get the conversation going:

  1. Set up a time to talk. Make sure you both know when and where. It can be informal, like when you are driving in the car… or more planned out and over dinner.
  2. Have some info. ready to go. Jot down some current financial info. like how much you have in the bank and what you normally spend on certain things like gas and groceries. This talk is just to get the conversation going. Future talks can get into more detail.
  3. Talk opening about your goals. Think big. Where do you want your future financial picture to look like.
  4. Talk about the immediate purchases. Where is the best place to shop? How much should you spend?
  5. Take notes during our meeting and after. During the meeting write down ideas that you both come up with that you want to explore more. After the meeting write down some quick thoughts to discuss at your next meeting.

As we were driving in the car a few weeks before Christmas I did a quick recap for my husband on where we were at for Christmas spending. I used the opportunity to “fill him in” on the actual amount we were going to spend, what gifts I was going to buy and where I was going to buy them. His ideas on other places to shop and other ideas for certain people where great. By working together we were able to make sure that the gifts we were buying would be well received and that we saved some money.

I do talk to my husband about the money I spend, but I wouldn’t say that I ask permission. Do you?

 Edited to add: This question came about when an acquaintance said that she really wanted to have pot roast…  but that her husband didn’t let her buy the right cut of meat to make it this week so she was going to ask him for “special permission” to buy the meat. I don’t know her situation, she could have a spending problem and has agreed to this arrangement for her own safety {although I highly doubt it}… or her husband could be extremely controlling… although she seems VERY happy in her relationship and was confused why the rest of us thought it was weird that she needed permission to buy meat. Regardless, I would not be comfortable in this type of relationship as it appears, without further info.

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • yes…i have to ask permission to spend money…..ask when i can get a haircut…eat lunch out…..just about anything reall

  • I don’t ask for permission on spending money. I spend what I need/want to. And when he needs something he usually asks me before spending money just to make sure we have the funds. I handle all the financial side of our marriage though.

  • Im a SAHM. He makes the money. I do get childsupport from my kids’ fathers. BUT my fiance’ works to pay the mortgage and majority of the bills. I do not ask for “permission” to buy anything. I buy what is needed for our home and family and to keep it running. IF there happens to be something I or he would deem a frivilous expense for something not needed but simply just wanted. We talk to each other about it. Basically just giving common curtousey to let the other person.

  • I don’t really have to ask permission but I do usually have to justify spending if he doesn’t think it is necessary. But on the other hand he can usually spend what he wants and then when the bills don’t get paid somehow it is my fault. This is definitely something we need to work on. but after 26 years I just don’t see him changing. His father was the same way.

  • WHAT!! You people went back to the 50’s That was the thinking then. A marriage is supposed to be a mutual arrangement. Both people are equal now, working out arrangement of taking care of the house and children. After the “burn the bra rebellion” in the 60’s, we are sliding back again????Come on, ladies!!!

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