Can husbands and wives owe each other money?

It happened again. I sent my Hubstopher to the shops to buy something girly for me and, upon return, he handed me the cashier’s receipt expecting a reimbursement. I looked at him, slip in hand, with shock and betrayal written all over my face, like, hello, we are husband and wife! I can’t owe you money!

What utter nonsense is this?! But nope, homeboy was having none of it. He had spent his hard earned dollar bill on my girly things and he wanted his cash back (to spend on his manly things, I’m assuming).

I straight out refused to reimburse him, you guys. Because, you know, husbands and wives can’t owe each other money. Right? Isn’t that, like, the rule of LIFE? Doesn’t it say that in the Bible somewhere? Can someone find the scripture for me? I need to prove a point.


When I brought up the topic with a few close friends of mine they just laughed and laughed and laughed. I mean, I totally thought their manic laughter was in support of me. But nay, they were laughing AT me. Because apparently husbands and wives CAN owe each other money. And “community of property” has nothing to do with it.

“It’s a principal thing, Luchae” one of them explained, as she wiped tears from her eyes.

Apparently my way of thinking is totally old school. And since we’re living in the modern day era (you know, where we don’t have to wipe our bums with banana leaves or grow our own potatoes) men and women now earn their wages fair and square.

And since the earning of wages is fair and square and all of that, more households are co-dependent on BOTH man and woman’s salaries. We both earn and we both contribute towards the household.

And if I’m willing to split household expenses with the guy, then I should atleast acknowledge that we’ve come to an unspoken agreement that his money is his and mine is mine and together we make things work for our home? Right?

Well I have questions about that.

I mean, what happens when husband and wife has a joint account or has come to an agreement that “it’s OUR money, and not yours or mine”… do you then ask for permission every time you want to make a girly purchase? Also, is it very sexist of me to expect the man to foot the bill for everything? Am I just old school like that?

And so, while debating the topic in my head (hands up if you have long debates with yourself) I came to the conclusion that I probably should #paybackthemoney. Because, in all fairness, when I sent him to the shops, I didn’t let him know that he’d be spending his hard earned cash on my hair products.

I mean, regardless of how important a leave in conditioner is when you’re living on this side of South Africa, I guess it’s not something that my husband would be budgeting for, at the end of each month. I guess it’s something that I should be budgeting for. And thus said, something that I should be paying for. I guess. Sigh.

My inner old-school lass needs to realize that I need to be a little bit more conscientious and inclusive when I make decisions about spending money… especially when it affects my husband. Although, I’m not gonna lie to you,  when he came at me with a receipt, my inner Jane Austen was like, “Kind Sir! I find this most insulting that I, a fair Lady, should reimburse thy spend! Begone with thee, foul man!”

Well, something like that.

Anyways, I thought to take it to the streets (this is the streets, you guys, my blog is so hip) and find out what you guys would do in a situation like this. Do you reimburse your hubby if he went to the shops to buy something for you? Do you expect reimbursement? Is it a matter of whose salary is the highest? Lend me your thoughts in the comments section below!

(Images: Header – Freepik; Body – Donna van der Watt)


  • Celeste

    Interesting read… There are some things that doesn’t need paying back and others that are worth a transfer even though the money will be spent on the household again. Like if I want an item that is all me and not related to home or family then I’ll pay him back. For the heck of it. “Playing” fair or some such thing. If it’s something that will benefit the whole family then I don’t. Even if it was a want (on my part) and not a need.

    My friends laugh when I tell them that my husband pays “child support” monthly. It’s money that goes into a fund for the kids only. Even though we’re married, I still don’t think my husband knows how costly kids really are. He knows but he doesn’t. Not really. Husbands only see the big picture and not the little things that really matters. There are clothes, toiletries and a whole lot of other essentials they require. So that fund covers all the necessities.

    All in all, I don’t think purchases need reimbursement. Like your friends say, it’s a principle thing. I do it to score points.

  • Felicity

    No we don’t reimburse each other. He swipes his card and I swipe mine . All depends on who is out at the shops. He earns more than me but that doesn’t mean he is entitled to more and that I must reimburse him . I work very hard and I do most of the kids/running a house things. So there’s no well i earn more so pay up missy or you are limited in spending cos I bring home the whole pig never mind just the bacon.
    I really found it odd when I have heard a friend or two say they need to pay their husband’s back of that their allowance is up so now they can’t go with to that outing etc.
    One friend didn’t even know how much her husband earns. But I guess everyone is different. Do what works for you 🙂

    • Shelli Garratt

      I think we’re all in this thing of life together (husband and wife). We are one. That might be the biblical verse you’re looking for – not sure where to find it but the man leaves his mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one.
      I think no re-imbursement is needed. Who can quantify who does more or less around the house or for the kids. It’s an impossible task. I might pay for his beers and a great big steak for the braai – I prefer chicken. But hey who’s actually counting and keeping records. As long as there’s no going into debt at the end of each month. Maybe we just eat end of the month salticrax with no cheese. Lol
      Each to their own. And no fights about it. Life happens too fast.

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