Husband Buying Me Gifts We Can't Afford

Updated on January 02, 2014
L.R. asks from Georgetown, MA
13 answers

I've been married to my husband for nine years. He never really bought me much in the line of jewelry or romantic gifts when we were courting and in the first few years of marriage, which is when I would've expected bigger gifts. Now that we've been married for nine years, finances are tight. We have three children together. The youngest is 2 months and I haven't been working for about 6 months now. For some reason, my hubby has been purchasing these expensive gifts for me lately (including 2k diamond earrings) for every occasion. We really can't afford these gifts and I told him not to buy them for me, but he's been doing it anyway and it's draining our savings account. Although, it's a nice gesture, how do I convince my husband not to make these big purchases for me?

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answers from Columbus on

My husband is really bad at this too. It's like the spirit of giving overwhelms him and he just can't contain himself. This year he bought my mom a tablet, ordered us concert tickets, got his parents a new digital camera, and he bought the kids a ton of stuff online that I didn't know about until they opened everything Christmas morning. I made him take a lot of it back, but neither of us were happy about it. He later admitted he went overboard, but this happens every year. It's weird because the rest of the year he's good at budgeting, and he'll get upset if I spend $20 on a new shirt. I don't get it either!

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answers from Dallas on

Debt is not a gift.
Surely, he can understand that.

There are several reasons i can think of that a guy gives you large gifts.
1 he's clueless about money. Not likely. He just picked up this.
2 he is having manic episodes. Is he bipolar or especially moody lately?
3 he's guilty. Only you would understand that.

Try thinking of ways for him to make big jestures without spending money.
Tell him how important security is for most women. Look on Dave Ramsey's site for logical, helpful info about saving money and eschewing debt.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

One thing I regret in my marriage is putting my foot down on expensive gifts.

NOT just because we divorced!

But because expensive things can be sold.

If I had him take the laptop back... HE still had that 2k burning a hole in his pocket. He'd just spend it on something else.

My girlfriend had the same problem... But she sold stuff off as he gave it to her (mostly), and put it in a different account. They're still married, and retiring next year. With a couple hundred thousand in her "gift" account. Some things she kept (jewelry, mostly, that the value is pretty liquid, and that she could wear), but all the tech &'others that devalued, she sold off.

My brother does it on PURPOSE to his wife... Since she's a SAHM. He didn't used to. But after seeing how royally screwed I got in my divorce, he calls it taking out insurance against becoming an a**hole. Because he values that his wife is losing income potential by staying home, and he wants her to feel secure / never trapped by their decisions. It makes things occasionally tight for them now... But he views it as her unemployment insurance should he divorce her, or if he's killed & there's an insurance screwup.


So I wouldn't necessarily have him stop.
If he's bad with money, then better he not be blowing 80 here, 50 there? (My ex, and my friend's soulmate)
If he wants you to feel secure / views it as an investment in your future?
(My brother)

Then maybe it's best to keep things as they are.
Maybe not.
But definitely something to think about.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


You need to sit down with your husband and find out where the money is coming from and how you can afford it - if he's putting it on credit - how to pay the bill...

YOU MUST DO THIS TOGETHER...finances are a tricky thing for couples. You don't want to fight over money...but you do need to be on the same's tough and it's a compromise...can't stress enough that both people in the relationship know what's going on.

Tell him how much you appreciate his trying to show you how much he loves you, etc. tell him to do it by fixing dinner, spending time together as a family and NOT spending a ton of money!

good luck!! Congrats on the new baby!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Any chance you could return the gifts to restore your savings account?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

This should be treated like any other time one of you buys something that isn't within your budget. Return the items. Then sit down and go through your finances together and explain in no uncertain terms that you guys simply can not afford this now.

Then possibly explore why he feels the need to buy you elaborate gifts. Is he guilty about something? Feeling bad because he lost his job? Whatever it is - spending money you don't have won't fix it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You need to have a sit down with him. Find out why he's buying you big gifts you don't want or need or can't appreciate b/c of financial worry. Find out where the money is coming from. Lay out ALL your household bills and debts. If he's trying to show appreciation, offer him other ways to do so. Like my DH had use or lose leave. So he took an extra day so we could see relatives without being rushed. If this is a new thing, you need to get to the bottom of why.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I will look at the bright say you just recently stopped working to stay home with the kids. My guess is that he's doing it for you in appreciation. You need to talk to him to find out. Let him know that you sincerely appreciate the gestures but not if it is at the sacrifice of your savings. Maybe suggest smaller gestures you may like every now and then.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Return it to the store and get your money back?

Interesting as to why, he is so spendy now.
Talk to him about it.
He is DRAINING your savings account.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

take it. put it aside. you never know.
i don't like nor wear jewelry. but my husband will get me expensive shoes and purses. i say thanks.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

This reminds me of my husband when we first married. I'm pretty simple, although I do have a huge engagement ring and wedding band. On our first anniversary he bought me huge diamond earrings. I mean, $2k, really nice special event kind of earrings. I said, where exactly am I supposed to wear these? We kind of had a good laugh about it, took them back, and replaced them with $200 earrings. Much better. I guess the difference is we could afford it, but it was still such a waste and I finally had to make him understand that. So now he still buys me nice jewelry for every occasion, but on a much lessor scale. I wonder why your husband is putting you in this position? Knowing you don't have the money for it and doing it anyway? I definitely would talk to him and I would take the jewelry back myself. I hope you figure it out. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Ditto Mymission. She's exactly right. Really sit down with him and talk about this.

I really hope it's not her #3.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My first husband used to spend big on me and on his mother after we got married. He once bought her and me a nice diamond ring from OUR joint account. When I got upset, he said that I could buy my mom one, too.

I love my divorced life now...

1 mom found this helpful
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