August 2nd, 2011
“Are you going to pay with Hello Kitty?”
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My husband and I share a very special joint banking account. We call it Hello Kitty because our joint account debit cards feature the likeness of that Sanrio sweetheart with the pink bow.
While we have our own separate accounts as well, we opened Hello Kitty right before we got married and it gets a lot of action when we go out with friends.
The Situation: Crawfish and a Cat.
One night, we enjoyed a crawfish dinner at a little local joint, you know, the kind of place where the server brings out several pounds of crawfish, while diners don little lobster bibs and make a mess and no one minds.
It’s the perfect group restaurant experience (but probably not suitable for a first date because you might end up holding hands coated in Cajun cooking juices). So we took out some friends visiting from D.C., celebrating and gorging ourselves on seafood and sides, not minding the price tag.
When the check came and my husband reached for it, my eyes widened in shock. Was he going to pay for everyone’s meal? That’s ten people!
Then, I blurted it out: “Are you going to pay with Hello Kitty?”
I should pause here to say that we manage our finances very well and budget for eating out with friends, but it still seemed impossible to me that we had enough in Hello Kitty to treat all eight of our friends.
“Are you going to pay with Hello Kitty?” I had asked. I stopped mid-crawfish grab and I nearly lost the dinner I had just enjoyed when my husband confidently replied, “Yes!” Could Hello Kitty cover the cost of ten people?
It seemed unlikely.
The Lesson: Trust and the Joint Account
With three years of marriage under my belt, I’m pretty used to sharing joint finances with another person. But I still felt a little uneasy that night thinking that Hello Kitty was at risk of being overdrawn.
Looking back, what I should have remembered is:
- My husband always has our budget in mind, from how much we have to spend on groceries to how much is left for gas for our scooter.
- Hello Kitty has overdraft protection. And most importantly…
- I trust my husband with our money, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten a joint account with him in the first place!
In the end, it turns out we had an overage in our grocery budget, meaning we had a little extra to spend on food. Normally, we would have put that money away into savings. But this time, we decided to treat our friends—who had flown all the way across the country—to a delightfully messy crawfish dinner. And you know what? It only cost us about $150. That’s not chump change. But it breaks down to $15 per person (including tax and gratuity) for a dinner that wasn’t only delicious, but also a lot of fun.
Bottom Line: I may still gasp, “Are you going to pay with Hello Kitty?” the next time my husband whips out that little pink polka-dotted plastic for a pricey expense, but I’ll also remember that I trust him with our money.
And that I still have purchase veto power.
Have a Karmic day,
Bethy Hardeman, Social Media Maven