(Closed) finances – please share how you combine and reconcile your combined expenses?

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
3720 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Fiance and I have thought about this a lot. We are having the attitude of play it by ear and proceed how we did before we were married. We both are good at money and feel that it isn’t worth haggling over every dime. 

We each will have a credit card and will charge normal expenses on it– he buys lunch every day and gas once a week. His should be higher. I eat out once a week, don’t drive, and splurge on starbucks once a week. Mine will be lower. We also put all food/bar bills on the card. As long as they are in the “normal” ball park, we are fine.

At the end of each month we will each pay our credit card and I will pay normal bills (savings, rent, loans, cable, utilities). Then at the end of the month we will evaluate our spending. If something is off, we can discuss it. If there is extra money, we will discuss what to do with it.

 

Post # 4
Member
14443 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

  • Do you have a old-timey check ledger and each person writes down what they spend?   No, we use credit card for everything so that keeps track of what we spend
  • Do you each have an *allowance* or an amount that you can have each month that’s figured into the budget?  
    No, we spend pretty freely.  But we also natural savers and dont spend much.
  • Do you have software that you use?  What do you like about it? 
    I put in all our expenses into and excel sheet each month just to see where we are.  I supposed I could use something about mint.com, but I’ve been too paranoid to give all that info up to a website.  I used to use Microsoft Money.
  • If he takes out $20 for lunch, what happens?  Does he just tell you?  Or does he write it somewhere?  Nothing.  We dont tell each other of our daily spending, it just goes on the card
  • Do you have a budget?  I don’t really have a budget, so I don’t even really know what that means, in the practical application sense.  I just never spent more than I made.  But that’s not a budget.   LOL, I think that’s a good budget!  That is what we do.  Since we dont normally spend much, and we know its well under what we make, we dont bother to make a budget.
  • Now that there are 2 people with access to the money….. how does it not lose control?  We have a bit of a surplus, but not that much – and we are paying for the wedding ourselves.  If that were the case, I’d plan up a weekly allowance, so that both of you have an understanding of how much canbe spent and not to go over that amount.

Post # 6
Member
5787 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

  • Do you have a old-timey check ledger and each person writes down what they spend?   No, we just use our debit cards
  • Do you each have an *allowance* or an amount that you can have each month that’s figured into the budget?  
    We have a combined acct for shared expenses. We deposit whatever we need for the month in that acct and anything left over is for our personal discretion
  • Do you have software that you use?  What do you like about it? 
    Mint.com Its kinda scary at first because you have to put in all your passwords but I’ve used it for years and never had a security issue.
  • If he takes out $20 for lunch, what happens?  Does he just tell you?  Or does he write it somewhere?  This would come out of our personal budgets so I wouldn’t know/care
  • Do you have a budget?  I don’t really have a budget, so I don’t even really know what that means, in the practical application sense.  I just never spent more than I made.  But that’s not a budget.   Not really, we’re both pretty smart about money so we just really depend on that
  • Now that there are 2 people with access to the money….. how does it not lose control?  We have a bit of a surplus, but not that much – and we are paying for the wedding ourselves.  The personal/combined account thing works for us. We have a finite # of items that the combined account is for so we always meet our obligations. Anything large we talk about ahead of time ($250+)

Post # 7
Member
3471 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

Your plan is basically what we do, but not nearly that planned out– basically, I handle all the finances.  We have 1 checking, 2 savings, and each have a credit card (again, everything is linked, and I have access to it all). 

So, I get paid weekly, Fiance get’s paid on the 1st & 15th.  On the 1st, I pay ALL of the bills for the month except our mortgage, as well as make a deposit into each savings (emergency fund and “fun” savings).  On the 15th, I pay the mortgage. That pretty much spends all of FI’s income.

Then, throughout the month, we make almost all of our purchases on the credit cards, and I pay it off at the end of each week; if we spend less than my paycheck (which is common) in any given week, I transfer the surplus to savings as well. We started doing this instead of just buying things with our debit cards because this way we both get cash-back rewards on all our credit card purchases, and since it’s paid off within the month, we don’t pay any interest.

If either of us wants to spend more than $100, we notify the other BEFORE we make the purchase. And if we want to make a large purchase (for example, I signed up at a new gym, and wanted to get the discount for paying $575 for 6 months in advance; or when Fiance wanted a new speargun for $300) it comes out of the “fun” savings, after we have discussed and agree on the purchase. Usually “discussed” is just a quick– “Hey, I want to spend $XXX on YYY”; “Ok, cool”– but it always happens in advance. 

This system works for us, and we always have plenty in savings for the unforseen, such as car repairs– which are handled by first pulling from the “fun” savings, then if needed, from the emergency fund.  Once we have a full 6 months of our combined income in the emergency fund, we wont continue contributing to it unless it’s depleted. At that point, all savings will be considered “fun” money. 

Post # 8
Member
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Check out mint.com its a free service that lets you aggrigate all your bank accounts, loans, credit cards, etc into one place so you can keep track of things. You can also create budgets and assign all purchases to different categories to track your spending. We have yet to combine our finances but we’ve been talking about it a lot. I’m much more a of a “budgeter” and he’s more of just spend less than you make type person, but we’re both pretty good with money. We do plan to do a monthly allowance for each of us to spend freely on our own things otherwise everything else will be combined.

Post # 9
Member
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

So we did exactly what you are going to do. We have 1 checking account and several savings accounts. We have 2 really big savings…one is that we do not touch and have auto deposit going into. That’s our little nest egg in case one of us loses our jobs.

We have another savings for emergency stuff…like if our hot water heater breaks or we have a leaky roof. We have a smaller amount that goes there every month, and if we have a little extra for some reason, it also goes there. 

Then we have what I like to call a “spending” savings. That’s where we withdraw money from for our own personal use. So $40 here or there to have cash on hand for things like lunches or whatnot.

I also should say that we have a pretty extensive budget spreadsheet. I have how much we make each month, then a column for every expense that we have. So I put in there what goes to savings vs. what goes to bills so that we can keep track of what we’re actually spending our money on. 

I know it sounds really complicated, but it works for us! 

Post # 10
Member
6124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

 

  • Do you have a old-timey check ledger and each person writes down what they spend?   I can see all transactions for all of our CCs and checking accounts.  I enter each expenditure into my handy-dandy spreadsheet.  It has categories for house, food, eat out, entertainement, misc, auto, health, clothes, retirement, wedding.  I used mint.com to see all the transactions or just have access to those accounts. I check it daily but I’ve alwyas got money on the brain.  If Fiance withdraws cash to pay something, he’ll just tell me.

 

  • Do you each have an *allowance* or an amount that you can have each month that’s figured into the budget?  No we do not have an allowance.  But we did say if something is over $500 then we’ll talk about it together first. I do put those expenses in the misc, clothes, or entertainment categories though.

 

  • Do you have software that you use?  What do you like about it?  I use mint.con only so I can see FI’s credit card transactions (not too impressed with the graph functions).  Otherwise, I like my handy-dandy spreadsheet that tells me how much I have left for the month.  I like to see what it costs for us to live on average so we can better plan for retirement.

 

  • If he takes out $20 for lunch, what happens?  Does he just tell you?  Or does he write it somewhere?  I either mark it as ATM $20 in the misc category, or he can tell me he spent $6 on Subway.  But usually as his fast food transactions are with a CC, so it’s easier to track.

 

  • Do you have a budget?  I don’t really have a budget, so I don’t even really know what that means, in the practical application sense.  I just never spent more than I made.  But that’s not a budget.  We don’t assign values to specific cateogories (ei $300 on food/month, etc).  Rather I track the expenses, I compare them to other months, I make sure there’s enough buffer to cover us and that we’re maxing out our retirement at the same time.

 

  • Now that there are 2 people with access to the money….. how does it not lose control?  We have a bit of a surplus, but not that much – and we are paying for the wedding ourselves.  Most people pay for their own wedding as it should be!  Get a feel for what you spend first.  Then you can see what is in excess and what to do with it (leave it there, put it in a higher interest account, move it to a wedding account, beef up retirement contributions, etc).

 

Post # 11
Member
807 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Here’s what works for us:

Joint checking account for all living expenses (mortgage, groceries, utilities, cell phones, etc). We put a pre-determined amount in each month that covers our bills, plus a little extra. This allows “us” to pay for dinner, home repairs, or whatever. The understanding is that this account is only used for neccessities and mututally agreed upon purchases.

We each have separate checking/savings accounts. This is what we use to we pay our “personal” bills (student loans) and any personal expenses–shopping, hobbies, etc. If we have a large purchase to make and we don’t have the money in our joint account, we will split it and each use money from our personal accounts.

I do understand that this is not for everyone but it works for us and I can honestly say we never fight about money (and we’ve been doing finances this way for three years).

Post # 12
Member
1663 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I am also wondering about this… interested in seeing more responses!

Post # 13
Member
383 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m interested in what others have to say as well!!

Fiance and I were going to try having a JOINT bank checking and savings which is where we would put our entire checks. We would pay for all household bills including predetermined amount to family emergency funds and our personal debt (student loans and previous CC debt) then whatever we have left over we split and put into our personal accounts and from there we save for personal things and spend, that way if we want to surprise each other we can, and since I am the spender I can shop guilt free

Post # 14
Member
835 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We have our own checking, our own savings, 1 joint checking, and 2 joint savings. I know it sounds confusing. Lol. Let me explain..

We are not combining our income into one checking for both of us to use. We will each have our own checking, own savings, and have a percentage of our income go into our joint checking. That joint checking is where all our bill payments come out of (Rent, utilities, groceries, etc.)

We chose to have our own savings for spending, such as clothes shopping, daily expenses, food here and there, etc.

We decided on 2 joint savings. A percentage of our income goes into both joint savings account. 1 joint savings is for an emergency fund (8 months worth of expenses in case someone loses their job) and another joint savings for the deposit on our house.

🙂

Post # 15
Member
1572 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Fiance makes more than I do but either way, he pays for everything. We have a combined checking/savings account that I am the primary user for. He has his own then I have my own. He puts money into our combined and I use it for things I need. Anything I make I put it in there as well or just keep it cash.

Post # 16
Member
1866 posts
Buzzing bee

  • Do you have a old-timey check ledger and each person writes down what they spend? FH and I don’t have all the kinks ironed out, but I believe we will have a joint checking account for our joint expenses, which will be rent, utilities, going out to eat, household stuff, etc.  We’re going to put a set amount in there each month.  I do balance a checkbook so I would probably ask FH to give me receipts for anything he spends out of our joint checking account.
  • Do you each have an *allowance* or an amount that you can have each month that’s figured into the budget? We would put a set amount each month into our joint checking account, so yes.
  • Do you have software that you use?  What do you like about it? No.
  • If he takes out $20 for lunch, what happens?  Does he just tell you?  Or does he write it somewhere? If it’s from the joint account he could give me the receipt.
  • Do you have a budget?  I don’t really have a budget, so I don’t even really know what that means, in the practical application sense.  I just never spent more than I made.  But that’s not a budget. Honestly, we don’t have a budget.  We won’t spend more than what we make and we automatically transfer money into savings/student loans/other auto debited type things, so we would never overspend.
  • Now that there are 2 people with access to the money….. how does it not lose control?  We have a bit of a surplus, but not that much – and we are paying for the wedding ourselves. Like I said, I think the fact that we’ll have a joint account for our joint expenses will work out fine.  Let’s say I wanted to buy a pair of shoes or he wanted to buy a video game – that would be from our individual accounts.

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