I recently found myself explaining our entire financial plan and philosophy to a stranger. The man knew a little about my background and asked many typical questions, but I could tell he didn’t really believe me when I said that Rob and I never really fight about money, since we sit down and create a budget together every month. At one point, he asked if one person would get mad at the other for going to Starbucks and spending $5 of our food budget on a single coffee drink. I smiled and said, “No, that’s not really how we look at it and we trust each other enough to make wise decisions, even when that includes splurging for a fancy beverage.”
It wasn’t until the next day that I remembered that Rob and I have had one tense moment involving the other person’s spending at the grocery store. I realize that it probably appears as though all this money stuff is so easy for us. And in many ways it is; simply because we have open dialogues about money, we set our goals together and we trust each other to handle our money according to our monthly plan.
Sometimes, though, things happen at Costco.
This is the story of an event I now refer to as The Champagne Incident.
Two days before the wedding, as you might imagine, I was a little stressed out. Rob and I still had many small details that needed our attention. We woke up that morning and created a list of tasks that each of us would accomplish before meeting up at my parents’ house later that afternoon. I really wanted to have a few bottles of champagne on the trolley to share a toast with our bridal party after the ceremony. We also needed some cookies, small bottles of water and orange juice for events over the next few days. So, I put the finishing touches on a few DIY projects while Rob ran errands that day. We met up at my parents house as planned, then found ourselves back at the condo later that evening.
I sat down to scan Rob’s grocery receipt into Shoparoo on my phone (as I do with all of our receipts) and I glanced at the receipt to see how much the champagne cost. I almost never look at anything listed on a grocery receipt, but this was our first time buying alcohol from Costco and I was curious what kind of a bargain Rob on his purchase that day. My mouth dropped wide open when I saw that Rob had bought three bottles of champagne that cost $43 each!
I was so irritated in that moment. It’s not that we didn’t have the money or that it broke our budget for the month, I just truly could not understand who would spend MORE on an item at Costco than they would normally spend at the grocery store. Rob understandably said he was in a hurry and just picked up the champagne without looking at the price. He just assumed it was cheap because he was at Costco. Rob didn’t even realize how much he spent when he checked out because he was so focused on all the errands he still had to run that day. I was still really annoyed and probably wasn’t very nice to Rob for the rest of the evening.
Flash forward to the wedding day. Rob and I had just said “I do” and we popped open the very fancy champagne while we were en route to the reception. Everyone had a good laugh when we told them about Rob’s big splurge at Costco earlier this week while they celebrated our marriage.
We drank 2 of the 3 bottles of champagne during our brief trolley ride. The third bottle is tucked away in our refrigerator. Those other containers of salad dressing, coffee creamer and jelly don’t have a clue about their fancy new neighbor on the shelf.
The lone bottle of champagne just sits waiting for the right occasion to be popped. But with a $43 price tag, we don’t want to open the champagne to celebrate any little old thing.
My apologies to the man who didn’t believe me when I told him that Rob and I never argue about money. There was that one time that I sent Rob to Costco to pick up a few bottles of champagne. But if that’s our only financial dispute, I guess we’re doing pretty good.