Sunday, July 09, 2006

It's Your Birthday, and Not Just Any Day

My husband is old.

Yesterday we celebrated by doing what we can only imagine is what old people with infants do. We went to the outlet mall so that Jay could pick out his birthday present. Then we went to dinner at the restaurant of his choice. Yum.

It was a crazy night. Joshua didn't get to bed until 8:00 p.m.

Happy Birthday, Jay!


gavin richardson said...

happy b'day. sounds much like my b'day, which looked more like going out to a regular after church joint and then erin saying that her b'day present was part of my b'day.. gee, didn't i pay for all of that?

Mary Beth said...

That's great, Gavin. I think I've probably pulled that one on my husband once or twice, too.

jenny said...

Here's my personal crisis in the birthday-gift-buying madness: How fair is it for me to buy hubby dear a present when he's the one who pays the credit card???? for several years I've tried having an account with my own $$ in it for such occasions, but there's no longer anything (except interest) going into it, and does it matter since he's not entirely attentive sometimes to every single charge and never questions what I've been spending on? Paychecks from my lucrative (ha ha) job are direct deposited into the family acct., so it's not like I don't contribute. (Yeah, I contribute enough to keep me clothed for said job...)
Whaddya think?

Mary Beth said...

An interesting conundrum. Jay and I have solved this by rarely purchasing birthday presents for each other. Instead we have treated ourselves to a fancy dinner and "in-town vacation." The in-town vacation was priceline-ing a nice hotel in downtown Chicago and exploring whatever neighborhood we happened to land in. Probably not an option in our new town, but fun while it lasted.

That said, I did purchase a Father's Day gift for Jay, and I'm pretty sure he didn't notice the charge on the credit card. If he did, he was kind enough not to mention it.

In the next few years, I won't be contributing financially at all, so this is something interesting to consider. I'm not sure how the fancy dinner plan will work out with a kid, so we may have to come up with something else.

Hammertime said...

Do your families really pay attention to who spends what? As long as the family budget is balanced at the end of the month, why does it matter where it is coming from?

This is totally out of my comprehension. Please help me understand what is interesting to consider in purchasing special things for each other out of the family funds. Thanks!

Rightthinker said...

How we formulate our monthly budget results in particular categories that are satisfied at the end of the month. For example, regular "expenses"-our tithes, utilities, mortgage, health insurance, retirement,life insurance, car insurance, food, clothing, Christmas budget (gifts, and food increases) dining out and entertainment are all pre-planned. Although, dining out and entertainment are not all that glorious, LOL!

Then, we have "non-regular expenses" that we plan for. Who needs what medical appts, dental, birthdays, expected visitors, (larger food expense) father's day, mother's day, etc.

We give a rough budget for anniversaries and birthdays that the "other person" balances. That way, they don't get the surprise ruined. However, we are each accountable to one another for expenditures, and overages are part of life with 4 kids. So, we have an "overage" fund that is rarely utilized, as well as emergency funds.

It is wonderful to know how much goes to what, particularly because it helps us to be accountable to our spouse and our money. Gifts are less important to us, because we SEE how it cuts into things like children's clothing!

It isn't necessary (obviously) to do things the way we do. This is just what works for us. I never know how much Jeff is spending on me, and vice versa, because our money balances by the other person. However, I know it balances ;) No credit cards are ever used, and that keeps us accountable, as well.

Mary Beth said...


That made me dizzy, but it sounds like a good plan for you guys.


This was light-hearted banter. It wasn't intended to be taken seriously as an issue, because it isn't for either Jenny or myself.

Rightthinker said...

Sorry it made you dizzy, MB! I thought there had been a question about how gifts are purchased for a spouse without them knowing, yet still working inside of a budget. I was explaining how it is we do that.

I was working off of Hammer's question, which you just said sort of isn't a valid question given the topic, LOL!

Mary Beth said...

I'm there with you, RT! Jenny's original question was, in fact, how to buy gifts without the other person knowing, and your system would certainly ensure that it wouldn't happen!

Your family is quite organized!

Hammer's question was whether or not our families pay attention to who spends what and why it matters where the money comes from. That was the non-issue that I was pointing out.