One day my husband called to say he was about to buy a $3000 ring for a friend's wife, so it wouldn't show up on their credit card. He's a reliable guy, so I thought it was ok (and it turned out ok) but that was pretty extreme! We just don't examine the credit card statement too carefully, and we also don't really buy big ticket items, so there aren't generally many clues anyway.
@kentuckygal When I moved in with my boyfriend (now husband), we kept separate accounts, and each paid for certain things - like, the Internet is $50, and the alarm is $50, so we'd each pay for one of those, and we each wrote a check to the landlord for our portion of the rent (he makes a lot more then I, so it wasn't an even split). When we got married, we opened a joint account that pays for household expenses, travel, food, doctors, and pretty much everything that isn't fun. We kept our old separate accounts, and we each get an allowance (changes depending on the budget for the year) that we can spend on ridiculously expensive bicycles, or $8 rolls of tape, or whatever it is we like, and then there is no shaming about discretionary purchases. My mom and step dad keep everything separate, and he writes her a check for half the household expenses every month. I don't know how they decide who pays for travel and other anomalous expenses.
I got an $80 cocktail dress at Dillard's, and paid $10 to have the hips taken in. It was comfy and cute, and I didn't mind a bit when I spilled tequila all over it later. I've worn it several times since, too...
Just because you hear about that one job, doesn't mean it's the only job. Go look for some place you'd like to live, and find a job there. Or you could get stuck in Arkansas for the rest of your life.
@moreadventurous A nice card sounds like just the thing.
@Marge So long as you can afford the ticket, and you don't hate the people who've invited you, traveling is always a yes!
@Caitlin with a C I live 400 miles from Trader Joe's, and still end up with accidental holiday treats... (via my sister, but still...)
Finally on Sunday the ice melted enough that we could go out to lunch ($45 on yuppie hamburger, soup, chocolate mousse, & scotch). Also placed an Amazon order for $160, which should cover 90% of my holiday shopping (Christmas plus four birthdays). Total: Just over $200
I can't believe all these people giving their bosses gifts! The bosses give us bonuses, and then we do a white elephant gift exchange at the office Christmas party. One year a new wife of an employee brought in little sacks of hot cocoa mix for everyone, and the bosses were all, oh no, we don't do presents in the office!
Aldi is... okay... I find there is a really limited selection, and things like the private label chocolate bars are not nearly as good at the Trader Joe's chocolate bars (though I don't have access to Trader Joe's regularly...). It's rarely worth the separate trip to me, since I can only get maybe half my list there. Produce is especially sparse and sad. (Though my Aldi experience is in a small town, so maybe it's different other places?)