Post # 1
My FI and I have a really good relationship and we truly are in this together. Since we are closing on our house this week we just opened up a joint account (we no longer have seperate accounts) so I can manage all of the bills and expenses out of one account.
We decided not to do seperate accounts because we don’t have enough money to put extra aside for us to spend on ourselves. We figure if we have it together we can spend it and if we don’t we can’t, we do talk to each other about every purchase we make even when we didn’t have joint accounts.
Besides strong communication, does anyone have any advice?
Post # 3
I would make sure that you are both allowed some money to spend every month without checking with eachother (an allowance). My husband and I will be doing this again once I have my own income so that we will be able to still have fun. When we want to buy something over a certain amount, then we will talk to each other about it. I would also make sure to have meetings about the family finances every so often so that you are both involved.
Post # 4
I would recommend EXPECTING a little turmoil from time to time when one of you disagrees with the others purchase, but very open, honest communication, will help alleviate that.
Sharing money is one of the hardest part of my relationship so far! but we are doing it, and as time goes by we learn more about what each other spend money on. sometimes it leads to fights, but we are both getting better at being frugal and also being easy on eachother, as long as the spending isn’t messing up our budget.
Post # 5
I think strong communication is obviously your best tool here – but it sounds like you both are in this together on the same page, so my other advice would be to set up a budget and some spending ground rules.
If all of your money is going to be in the same account, and all purchases are being made through it, you probably want to talk about each other’s spending habits and how much money you feel comfortable with the other person spending without having to check in first. Setting up a budget will help you do that.
MSN Money has some good budgeting tools for free online that could probably help you get started. If you know how much money you have beforehand to spend on everything from mortgage, groceries, bills, cars, etc. you’ll be a lot less likely to argue about it. You probably will also want to open joint long-term and short-term savings accounts, that are preferably linked to your checking account to make it easier to transfer money between them.
And really, the more you communicate the better. Your post sounds like you’re going to be the one handling bills, but it’s a great idea to set up once a month “state of the finances” meetings to make sure you’re both on the same page with where your money is going every month, and how your long term and short term savings goals are going. Obviously one person is capable of paying the bills, but both people should be aware of how the money is being spent!
Post # 6
FI and I have one joint account, and that’s it. We don’t have to give each other an allowance, since neither of us are big spenders. If it’s a big purchase, we usually discuss it or go together.
I don’t ask him for permission to buy anything, and he doesn’t have to ask me. It somehow works.
Post # 7
Communication is number one and it seems like you have that all down already. You should be fine but only time will tell. We just opened a joint checking account for biils but will still each have our own seperate accounts.
Post # 8
It’s really important to communicate with a joint account, but choose whether you want to decide the budget ahead of time or as you go along.
With a joint account, I prefer deciding a budget ahead of time because it’s less work in the day-to-day. If you set a budget ahead of time, you lay out everything you spend money on, including set amounts for personal spending, savings, bills, etc. All of the money you make in a month/pay period (however you split it up) should be allocated. Then you spend as intended and only consult one another if you deviate from the plan. You check in occassionally to make sure that the allocations you’ve chosen are working for you.
On the other hand, if you budget as you go along, you check in with each other every time you make a purchase. This is less work up front, but more work to keep it going and I think harder to maintain because you don’t want to feel like you are asking permission to spend money. As you get more comfortable you might stop reporting smaller purchases thinking they are not important, but lots of small purchases add up and can get out of control if you are not careful.
I think people with single checking accounts can do either budget plan successfully, but that the budget ahead of time plan works best for couples because it minimizes the amount of checking in with your partner you have to do and also the amount of guesswork.
Post # 9
Thanks for all of the advice! I have managed the money for the past couple of years for both of our accounts so I know his spending habits. He doesn’t spend much of anything, I buy his clothers, household items, etc.
@MissAsB- We are going to try to have an envelope of cash for our spending money for the month so we know how much is there and will see it diminish. If either one of us wants to make a larger purchase than the spending money than we will look at our other finances and decide if we can afford it.
@coffeekitty- LOL, I will expect turnoil, hopefully it won’t be too long before it works itself out.
@gcwest- I agree. We have created a budget and do have a savings account linked to our checking. I think regular meetings is a great idea because he doesn’t even look to see how much or how little we have in the account.
@chillmer- Neither of us are big spenders either so I’m hoping our situation works out like yours.
@msmonika- Thanks for the supporting words!
@chelseamorning- I’m with you, I’m a planner so I like to have everything laid out. I would want to find out half way through the month that we can’t pay our bills.
Post # 10
It’s great to see that you have a budget! I’m a budget geek. I love looking at my Quicken!
Post # 11
@MissAsB- My FI is self employed so I learned how to budget out of a desperate need LOL. And my dad is a CPA so he’s got me using Quicken too!
Post # 12
I think this is a good wat to go. my husband and I ask each other before every non-essential purchase, and it works out great. we have been doing it for about 2 years! The one thing that is interesting, is I do all the budgeting and math and stuff, but he is the one who physically pays the bills. I am really bad at getting to it, so it works out really well.
Post # 13
We also just have joint checking and savings accounts. Honestly, I think you two will figure out what works best for you as you adjust to the new situation. What works best for us is having one person “in charge” of our household finances. My husband put together our original budget (we use http://www.mint.com), he monitors the budget, pays all the bills, and gives me updates when I need to curb my spending or when we have big annual payments coming up (like insurance, DMV registrations, etc…). We discuss together before making big purchases and we set a budget together for special itmes like birthday/Christmas presents, vacations, etc… I have access to everything as well, so I can look up our current finances anytime I want, but it’s just easier for us to have one person in charge. And I hate dealing with money. 🙂