Buying Gifts While Sharing an Account

Like many couples, we pool our money into shared accounts. That pretty much ruins the element of surprise when giving big-ticket items, as I discovered the first Christmas we were married, when I used our debit card to buy Alejandro a flat-screen television. I was so excited: This was going to be the best gift ever, I thought.

A couple of days later, I got a call from Alejandro at work.

“You got us a new TV!” he said giddily. He had seen the deduction on our banking statement and figured it out. The suspense was so thoroughly quashed, we unwrapped the set a week before Christmas. It has been the same story ever since.

In the Wall Street Journal, Katy McLaughlin talks about gift-giving in a relationship where both partners pool and share their money (basically, surprises are hard to pull off). She just opened up her own credit card account so she can surprise her husband this year, though, writing a column about it and publishing it on the internet may let some of the cat out of the bag.

Photo: Droid Gingerbread

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