When my husband and I got married we automatically joined our accounts. It seemed the thing to do, as we set up the budget to allocate our funds to bills, savings, and spending money. Everything worked automatically.
What we decided to change
Recently, we switched to managing separate accounts. I don’t knock holding separate accounts. In fact, I like the benefit’s of being a financially independent woman.
The bills have been divided so that we each have the same *cash allowance available each week. Basically, my husband is responsible for the house payment and utilities. While I take care of the loan/debt payments and childcare.
Here are the benefits for holding separate accounts:
- Some of the financial responsibility/time is freed up on my behalf. It just happens that ‘my’ set of bills are all due on or around the first of month. So, I can send them all out on a single Friday and be done for the month.
- We each have our independence with our cash allowance (I think my husband is liking that as much as I am, too) – don’t get me wrong, we are still making financial decisions together
- We can buy gifts for eachother with suprise. There is no peeking into transactions.
But there are some potential cons:
- If one spouse makes more money they take on the higher load of the bills. Need to remember that you’re in this path towards financial freedom together.
- Responsibility for variable expenses, like gifts and vacations, could be an issue of how to split
- There may be times you think your spouse is spending too freely and not on the same spreadsheet as yours
I admit, I do feel a crunch not managing all the finances, but I think the change is good for us. We now each hold a physical responsibility to ensure the bills are paid on time. Instead of one spouse hearing, “this is where the money is being allocated” or “this is how much we saved” we can now both monitor the results in real time and in our ‘own’ account.
What about you?
Do you work well with a joint account? Partial to having a joint & separate accounts? Or living with separate accounts? What are some of the issues you deal with in your account cohabiting?
*Cash Allowance: the money remaining after our bills our paid. This money is used for weekly groceries, gas, entertainment, hair cuts, etc…