(Closed) Joint Expense? For those bees who have both a joint and a separate account

posted 4 years ago in Money
Post # 3
8761 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

 I am like you and can’t really relate to a separate accounts mindset.  I do have one small separate checking account that is for taking out cash, grocery and personal expenses, but it is for accounting purposes only, funded by the general pool and accessible to both of us.  We have equal access to all accounts, agree on any major expenditures, have a loose budget in terms of individual discretionary spending, and don’t micromanage one another. 

In your situation, I don’t think your H can have it both ways, ie putting his expenses on  the joint card, while  insisting that you continue to pay your own way.  

Post # 4
989 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Yes, I would put your commuting expenses on the joint card.  We use our joint account for anything related to “household business.”  The separate accounts are just for fun money.

Post # 5
10454 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Yah we put gas and most car stuff on our joint card. We treat pretty much everything as joint, and really only use our separate accounts for gifts or going out with our individual friend groups. Or shopping sprees, you know… haha. 

Post # 6
11760 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Why don’t you guys talk to each other about what should/should not go on the joint account…

Post # 7
543 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’d probably have a chat with him first-has he not noticed that you’ve been paying your commuting out of you own account? If you’re going to keep seperate accounts you should probably make rules/come to an agreement on what is joint costs vs individual.




We have a joint account but have our salaries paid into separate accounts. We will continue to do this once married-our joint account is for things like the mortgage, bills and holidays. I earn (and spend!) more than FI and when it comes to food bills or everyday sort of costs we just take it in turns. We run 2 cars but mine is used as the main car and I pay the fuel for it 100% unless we are going on a long journey to visit parents or friends together. We consider commuting costs as individual costs and so pay individually.


Post # 8
136 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

This sort of thing really should be talked about and agreed to when you start combining any money. To me it makes sense that those would be joint expenses but it just depends on how you want to do it. For us our only separate money is our “fun” money, everything else is combined. But I have heard of other people that keep their individual expenses (their own cell phone, they each take care of their own car payments and expenses, etc.) separate too, and in that case I think his car and tolls would be his own. You guys just need to sit down and figure out exactly how you want it to work or stuff like this will keep coming up.

Post # 9
922 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We have separate checking and savings accounts for now.  The hardest part is ensuring the joint expenses (mortgage, bills, furniture, dog, groceries) are paid equally.  I know I pay more towards those things than FI does, which is driving me crazy right now.  But with separate accounts, it seems lame of me to ask for a check each month from FI to balance it out.  He doesn’t like handling money; it makes him uneasy.  So I do all of the bill paying, money transfers, etc. for us (which is probably why I come out high).  We each pay our own way for car related expenses, eating out for lunch, gifts, etc.  We plan to combine into one checking and one savings after we get married.  I’m thinking it’s only going to make expenses easier and more equal (I make a little more than FI overall, not enough to warrant pulling more weight).  We plan to keep separate credit cards and put our personal expenses on those.

My question is are your car expenses about the same as his?  I know mine are more than FI’s, so I don’t ask him to chip in.  They stay separate for us.  Either way, you should talk to him and decide if car expenses are joint or not.  Either you both put them in joint or both keep them separate, keep it fair.


I plan to keep following this thread because it’s also helping learn how we should handle things once we are married.  Thanks for starting it!

Post # 10
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I think it depends how much you guys are putting in the joint account and how much you’re keeping seperate.

DH and I put a certain amount into our joint for all of our bills, savings and then extra money for things like going out together or if we need to buy something for the house.  We did not allocate putting in enough to cover our commuting expenese and we pay for those seperately.  That is, unless we take a weekend trip or something like that together where we want to split it.

In any sense, either you BOTH should be using the join account for your commuting expenses or you both should be using your personal accounts.

Post # 11
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Sounds like you need to have a talk about what is considered a joint expense.  I wouldn’t like it if DH put his general car expenses on our joint card (we too live in NYC, and I too use public transit).  If we’re taking a road trip and we stop for gas, by all means, he should use the joint card.  But just getting to and from work, no.  We set up the joint account/card fairly recently, so we’re still figuring things out.  We use it for rent, cable, gas/electric, groceries, restaurants, etc. 

Post # 12
1132 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We have joint and separate accounts like you do. Also, I commute via mass transit and he commutes to work via car. His gas and car expenses come from his account, and my metro expenses come from mine. That’s just how it goes. Groceries and things we both use come from the joint account. Now, when he’s working from home and I have to drive every day, that may change since he won’t be commuting at all but I will have to spend a lot of money every month traveling.

Also, we’re not married yet, (less than a month to go!) but we intend to keep our accounts this way once married.

Post # 13
1328 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

We aren’t married yet, but tight now we have accounts like yours, shared for household stuff and each a separate for personal expenses.  His public transit pass is automatically deducted from his paycheck (they get a discount through his work) so that’s basically from his personal account.  I drive to work and gas goes on my account.  He has a car as well but doesn’t use it everyday, but his gas is still from his own account.

Once we are married we plan to put more stuff like that into the joint account.  We plan to combine things like car insurance, phone plans, etc so that would put it in the shared account.  And honestly besides work most of our car trips involved both of us so that should be shared.  We are still going to keep personal accounts but that’s just for stuff like clothes and hobbies.

Post # 14
4282 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We have joint & separate accounts. We each have a car & we each pay for our own gas – unless it’s a joint trip (visiting family, vacations, etc.) and then we pay with the joint card.

Post # 15
7448 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Yeah you need to flesh out with him what exactly which expenses the joint account is for. In my case communiting expenses would be joint account type deal. But thats cause in NYC we both use Monthy Metro cards and that is a fixed expense. If we each had cars and used diffrent amounts of gas depending on our commute, perhaps it would be personal account charge.  



Post # 16
3266 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

The way we separated our accounts was like this: We have a total of 4 accounts between the two of us. There is the joint account, the savings account, and then we each have our own fun money accounts where a % of our paycheck goes into but gets matched into savings. The joint account goes for absolutely anything household related. I walk to work, but the gas and tolls for the car still comes out of the joint account (commuting expense). All groceries, bills, etc. comes out of that account. Now, if I want new nail polish (every month) I use my “fun money”. If he wants a new game, he uses his fun money. New clothes? Fun money. I think you get the idea.

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