Post # 1
I guess this is a bit of a spin off from the ‘financial freedom’ post. My fiance and I don’t live together yet, and we’re trying to determine how to combine our finances when we get married.
I have a question for those that use joint bank accounts, but pull a little bit aside each month in ‘personal money’ for which you don’t need to account. What is typically considered a personal expense to you? How much do you each get (roughly) each money?
Is it like coffee and the odd lunch out with friends? Or like clothing, salon trips, and anything that doesn’t benefit you both?
Post # 3
My husband and I lived together for about 4 years before marriage. We pretty much continue the system we set up back then. We both contribute the same amount (we currently make about the same amount of $) to our joint account. This amount covers our household expenses. All other money is our own to spend or save. We are currently working on a joint savings plan as well. If we go out to eat together we put it on the joint. Target trips to buy mutually beneficial things = joint. Stuff for me (meals with other friends, starbucks, salon, clothes, etc) goes on my account.
Post # 4
We don’t do our money this way as everything is joint & if I want coffee or a haircut I tell FI about it (I don’t ask because I do the budget), but I would think if you wanted to do it joint but separate –
joint account where everything goes that covers all household stuff as well as stuff that mutually benefits you both, like groceries, dinners out & entertainment.
a joint savings account that you guys can figure out a % of your paycheque to put in there every pay/month.
and whatever’s leftover at the end can be used at each person’s discretion, and if you’re more comfortable discussing big purchases that would happen out of those accounts, then by all means do so.
Post # 5
My SO and I have pretty much the same system as MzMarzipan. It works out really well except when a big bill needs paying and we drain the account and it takes some time to build up again.. in that case, my SO, who earns a bit more than me, tends to pick up some of the slack until payday.
Post # 6
We’ve been discussing this a lot lately as well. We live together, and have for 2 1/2 years, but we still have separate accounts. He pays for the mortgage and taxes, i pay for utilities and groceries. It works out pretty well but we do want to combine and have a joint account after the wedding. We’re leaning towards all monies going into the joint checking and savings accounts, with a weekly or bi-weekly amount for spending money going into our own personal accounts.
We’ve been pretty good so far with not monitoring each other’s spending and when things are tight we talk about who is buying what and we cut back. We spend differently, but I think we have learned from each other too. He might not spend money on clothes (in fact I buy all his clothes since he just wouldn’t bother otherwise) but he’ll go out and buy a new $150 tool. I never give him a hard time about making a purchase because I wouldn’t want a hard time in return. That being said, we both always discuss a big purchase together before it happens and we’re comfortable with eachother’s habits. Hopefully it’s a smooth transition to sharing a debit card. 🙂
Post # 7
We’ve always put our money into the same account. As for “personal expenses” if we want to have lunch out, we do. If he wants a new video game he casually mentions it and we usually pick it up. If I need a new pair of jeans I buy them. We keep our spending in check though so there’s never really a problem.
Post # 8
Currently, we get 50% of our paychecks into our personal accounts. I use it for my personal doctor’s visits, chiropractor, makeup, also lunches with my girlfriends, getting my hair/nails done, massages, kind of whatever isn’t a “household” expense. I also buy cat food/litter/etc with my account, gas, basically anything that is something that only I use. We also have our own personal savings accounts–I’m currently saving for a new car. We’re not comfortable paying for individual vehicles out of a joint account. Or clothes–it’s very lopsided. My jeans cost way more than his! He’d probaby think i was spending frivolously.
Bills, food, mortgage, taxes, cleaning products, stuff for the home, and the like come out of our joint account.
But now that Dh and I make about the same amount of money, we’re going to talk about it and I’m wondering if it’d be better to break it down so that we each get $500 a month, then contribute X to a joint savings account, then X to the joint checking account. I’m not sure how we’ll do it–kind of play it by ear for now. I mentioned us going more joint once we have kids–i’m just not sure what’s a normal amount for personal expenses. Being a woman, I just have more upkeep expenses than him, ha!
Post # 9
We don’t do the “allowance” thing. Rather, our paychecks by default go to our individual accounts, and we then move some money to a joint account to cover joint expenses.
We typically count something as a personal expense if just one of us will use it/is involved and the other is not. Personal expenses include most of the kinds of things on your list: clothing, salon trips, coffee, doing something with friends without the spouse, taking a dance class. Joint expenses would be household expenses (groceries, rent), as well as fun things that we do together (going out to eat together).
The line between what is a personal expense and what is joint is certainly murky. Sometimes we do put things like clothes on the joint account, and it doesn’t really matter that much to us now. When we first moved in together and did not have joint accounts, we were much more rigid about what were and weren’t joint purchases.
Post # 10
We define “personal money” as basically anything outside of housing bills and the amount we save per month.
So, I get paid every 2 weeks. Every payday, a portion goes directly into a high yield savings, a portion goes into our “house account” (our joint checking account), and the remainder goes into my personal checking account.
From the joint checking account, we pay: mortgage, gas, electric, cable, HOA fees, insurance (home and car), and some savings.
From my personal checking I pay my bills: student loans, cell phone bill, car payment, and whatever is left is mine. My husband does the same (but he gets paid once a month, instead of every 2 weeks).
Post # 11
DH and i get paid the excat same amount (we’re both the same rank, and in the military). we still have seperate accounts, though, and we just split the bills. i would love to have a joint account where we each put in the same % of our paycheck (since we both make the same amount) but DH doesn’t like that ideal. :(. i don’t see why, though, since we’re married, and i’m not asking him to give up his personal account…
Post # 12
We’re pretty liberal. Things like clothes, makeup, haircuts, etc that a lot of people would make come out of “personal” accounts we don’t. A lot of my husband’s friends are flabbergasted by that. But, women buy more clothes than most men. We wear makeup. It’s a legit expense. If I want to say, get the $250 pair of cuter boots instead of the more practical $100 pair of boots that would work just fine, I will put money from my personal account with it. Other stuff like camera gear, presents for friends, manicures, etc come out of my personal account.
Post # 13
We do it exactly the same way as MzMarzipan. Works really well, I think, but I am sure it will change once we have kids.
Post # 14
I was wondering, if you both have personal accounts wouldn’t there be fights over who is spending too much/ not saving enough? If both personal accounts got the same amount of money, I just think it would start a fight.
We have 3 credit cards, His, Mine and Ours. We each have a copy of all 3, and all 3 are paid out of the same account. I think it helps keep spending under control. I’m better with investing than he is, so he lets me invest his money as well. (whereas if it was in a separate account, I couldn’t access it)
Post # 15
You know, we set up personal accounts along with a joint account with the intent of giving ourselves allowances, but now after two years of marriage we just use the joint account (that’s where the money is deposited by default anyway). We communicate about the purchases that we make and how much is okay to spend on personal stuff and couple stuff, as well as bills. I thought we were going to disagree and to need these separate in accounts, but in reality it’s just turned into “our money.”
Post # 16
“I was wondering, if you both have personal accounts wouldn’t there be fights over who is spending too much/ not saving enough?”
my DH refused to have the same bank account, and at the beginning of the marriage yes, he would try to tell me what to spend money on/ spending too much money (he’s honestly the cheapest man on the planet) BUT i told him that unless we have a joint account, he has NO RIGHT to tell me how to spend my money or what i spend it on, b/c it’s my personal money, as long as i’m also getting all the bills paid. I get the bills paid on time, and whatever i want to spend my money on after that is completley up to me, and the same thing for him. i’ve never once told him what to do with his money, never once made a comment on it. so, these fights don’t happen for us.