Post # 1
I’m anxious to hear how the people who do his/mine/ours money handle it. With DH’s new job, we’ll be reevaluating how we handle our finances. Currently we put 50% of our income into a joint checking account and 50% goes to our personal accounts. DH splits his amongst his savings/investments and his checking and I split mine amongst my checking and savings. With his Reserve money, he’ll be making about 8K a year more than me…we’d like to keep some personal money (things like buying a new car, gifts, clothes, personal expenses–we consider those personal expenses), etc. I guess we’re looking at having:
- Joint savings
- Joint checking
- My checking
- His checking
Do you break it down by percentages? Or by set amounts? Neither of us have student loans, either. I’m thinking we each get around $500/month for personal money? He acknowledges that I’ll always have more personal expenses simply because I’m a woman.
I’m confused and I’m curious what works for you guys and if there’s maybe an option I’m not seeing out there on the internet. I’m really trying to hammer out the details of doing this when pay is more equal. Our company does direct deposit so once we set it up, we don’t have to worry about it.
Also…if you’re going to tell me “we’re joint 100%!” save your breath because it’s just not an option for us and never will be. I won’t be staying home when we have kids, either. We will both always have comparable salaries, also.
Post # 3
We only recently combined money so we are still figuring out what works for us and adjusting it. What we did was exactly what youre thinking of-combined checking/savings, and personal checking. We have the majority of our paychecks deposited into the joint checking account each week and a small portion is automatically deposited into our personal accounts. I use my personal account for student loans and car payments (those are the only bills we don’t have combined), going out with friends, clothes, hair cuts, etc. Basically, its my fun money 🙂 We are still playing around with the amounts each month. We pretty much estimated what we spend on personal stuff but like I said, we are still adjusting and figuring out what works.
My goal after the new year is to really start getting better with our savings account. We have some big house projects we need to save for, I want to increasse our emergency fund, start a vacation account, and get on track.
So, I dont have any good advice for you but I’m interested in the other responses 🙂
Post # 4
I’m no help as we have always combined everything as it is all our money. Personal money? Why? Can’t you just withdraw what you want or write a check for anything you need? Do you feel the need to explain it to him? I don’t get it now nor do I suppose I ever will. lol We’ve always had a seperate ‘stash’ for buying things we may want to hide (like for a birthday or anniversary) but I’ve never felt the need to seperate everything. We have always made almost the exact same salary too (until recently) but we never used percentages to deposit money. It all always went in the bank to whatever accounts we wanted it to go into. I spend,he spends…what real difference does it make?
I think my daughters are doing something similar, but it drives me crazy.
Post # 5
I’m right there with you! We are working it out right now as well. I’ve talked to a few friends, and I’ll share what they’ve told me. Actually, my mom’s was the best. She and my dad make comparable salaries (both within 5K of eachother).
They each have a separate checking/savings/investment and then have the joint checking/savings/investments/college funds. (Younger sibs still in school.)
To break it up, they’ve calculated how much they need for bills each month and put that plus __% into the joint account. (Bills including, well, everything joint.) What’s left over is theirs to do as they please. For them, it’s usually investments or savings, but they don’t like to control if the other shops or whatnot because they both make good money and see no reason to control the others’ spending as long as bills get paid and there is money left over. She said their savings/investments have really grown over the past 10 years. So there’s that. Hope that helps a little.
Post # 6
We do this, broken down by set amounts (but I think you could easily do percentages too).
We add up: mortgage, HOA fees, insurance (house and car), cable, gas, electricity, and a built in cushion amount – divide that roughly in half (we make about the same, my husband makes a little more, so he contributes a little more) and each have that dollar amount directly deposited into our joint checking account for paying our mutual bills each month.
The reminder of our pay is ours – we each have personal checking and savings accounts, as well as 401k, etc. through work. I send a chunk of my pay to savings each month, and pay my personal bills with the rest (student loans, cell phone, car, etc.). We are open about how much we save each month, so we’re on the same page about that.
We usually try to split large purchases (i.e., over $500). One of us will make the purchase and the other will write them a check, or just buy all the food for the month (or something comparable) so it events out in the end. Hope this is helpful.
Post # 7
To answer your question, we only have a joint checking, and then we each have person checking/savings. Out of the joint account, we pay for everything that we use or enjoy together – so that means mortgage, utilities, groceries + household items, house cleaning service, etc., and all of our joint entertainment costs – going out to dinner, movies, etc. We figured out how much we spend on all of that stuff per month (it took a few months of trial and error to accurately account for the entertainment portion), divided that amount by half, and that is how we each deposit into the joint account every month. We use our personal accounts for everything not shared – haircuts, shopping, dinner out with friends, gifts for each other, etc. It is not a perfect system, but it works for us.
Post # 8
We have a joint checking and I have a personal savings. He knows about the savings. It’s like a “pay yourself first” account and keeps that money out of the way.
Post # 9
All of our accounts are joint, which I know won’t work for you, but here’s a different way to view savings.
We sat down and figured out financial goals – establishing an emergency fund, remodeling the house, maxing out our retirement funds, etc. We prioritized those goals and decided what we were going to save for each goal. We opened an account for each goal and money is automatically deposited in each account.
Post # 10
All of our money goes into one account, and then we have separate “spending money” accounts that we do automatic transfers into every month ($150 each per month right now while we are saving for a trip/house, might go up after we’re done with the aggressive savings). We also have a high interest savings that our emergency fun is in, and we are constantly updating our CDs with excess savings to that our house fund increases at a faster rate than just a high interest savings account.
Post # 11
Thanks for the ideas, ladies. It definitely helped break it down a little easier…i’m using mint.com and it’s a great site, but a little overwhelming, too. I think we’re just going to put set amounts into our personal accounts each paycheck, the rest into our joint savings, and then once a month I’ll have it set up to transfer a certain amount over to our joint savings account. This way our direct deposit is only getting split into two accounts.
Now my brain hurts and I need a drink
Post # 12
Sara from 2000dollarwedding.com has a neat system of pooled finances:
It’s actually way more complicated than what I do (we added each other’s names to each of our accounts, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same – we have separate checking accounts which we use to pay off our separate credit cards. We have one joint savings account). But my system is mostly borne out of laziness – eventually, we’ll have 1 checking account but maintain our separate credit cards. We just don’t do that right now because there’s a Chase near his work and a Citi near mine, and neither of us wants to trek to the ATM 🙂
Post # 13
It sounds similar to what we do too.
We have a joint checking and savings account. Every month we deposit the bill money, with a little cushion in case of fluctuation, etc. into the joint checking. With all remaining money, we deposit 50% into the joint savings, and divide the remaining 50% between the two of us for fun money in seperate (but linked) checking accounts.
It works really well for us. We each get the same amount of spending money per month, no matter who makes more. We can do whatever we want with it. I shop, FI saves to buy some new gadget every few months or so 🙂
Post # 14
We have a joint checking account where we both put in the same amount every month ($1500 each) for bills and mortgage payments. Everything else is our own to do with as we please, but at the moment we both try and save for the wedding as we’re paying for it all ourselves.
The reason we chose a set amount is that my FI has his own business and his income varies somewhat over the year so it was easier to work with than a percentage. So even if my FI may have more money left in his account after paying for bills etc he has other expenses related to his business.
For savings we tend to save up in our own separate accounts and then pool the money when we need it for something.
Post # 15
@MeghanV, i LOVE powerpoint! i bet that’d help me explain it to my husband a little better, too. How visual, thanks for that! I’ve been using the ING direct savings account and I really like how flexible it is.
Post # 16
Ugggh, yeah we need to do this too….
When we intially lived together we paid on a percentage based on salary. Hubs makes like 30K+ more then me, so saying we both pay X wasn’t fair. So we looked at our monthly income and based on a percentage (for example he paid 70% and I paid 30%) of our total bills but this was based on our salary, so the same percentage of what we earned monthly was spend on bills.
Now, we are changing things up, and have been meaning to go to the bank to set an account where we put our checks in and all bills, food, and joint entertainment (i.e. going out to dinner, drinks, shows, etc.) are paid out of this main account, then we would both get a monthly “allowence” so to speak that we could spend on personal wants (like if i want new clothes and he wants something new for his drums) this “allowence” would be the same dollar amount for each of us.