Let’s talk about money baby! Accounting – further holes: large gifts

Gift box with single coin insideI’ve recently thought of a very significant further hole in the idea of spouses having individual accounts as well as communal family account – and that is the matter of individual gifts received. For instance, if one spouse’s family is much better off than the other spouse’s family, and they give very generous financial gifts to their son or daughter on their birthday, then what to do with that gift?  Should it be divided as family income, or given exclusively to that spouse ?  I was thinking that in this situation, each spouse might likely hope that the other would relinquish control over the money.  For instance, the “birthday spouse” who had received the generous gift from their parents might hope that their spouse would say “It’s your money darling, please keep it!” (even if the birthday spouse planned to gift it to the family) whereas the other spouse might equally hope that the birthday celebrant would immediately volunteer the generous gift to the family funds, even if the non-birthday spouse would ultimately refuse that and insist that the celebrant kept the money – if that makes sense!  What I am trying to say is that no matter what they actually plan to do to that money, each party would love to see a show of selfless generosity from their spouse, as a sign of commitment to the family, and this would help to make them feel more united. However, it would obviously only work if it was sincere!

One significant issue though is if the family is experiencing financial hardship, and the birthday spouse insists on keeping the money where that would have made a big difference to the financial circumstances of the family. I for one would find it hard to remain gracious in that situation. However I’m guessing that these are the kinds of situations that test couples, where one feels perfectly entitled to act in a certain way, and justifies him/herself in that situation and the other might feel essentially betrayed…

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