Feb 22nd, 2013 by Jennifer Lynn
The evolution of our finances.
M. and I both have separate checking accounts from before we met. But now that we have a family, our finances have evolved into more of a cohesive unit and last year we opened a joint savings account specifically for family expenses and emergencies.
However, since I pay all of the bills but stay at home right now while M. fetches the majority of our family bacon, we’ve decided to go ahead and open a joint checking account as one main account.
I see several advantages to this.
For one, it simplifies the household finances since we can funnel our combined income (M.’s paycheck and any side income I receive, plus any family windfalls) and expenses through that joint checking account. M. doesn’t constantly need to transfer money over to my individual account to pay my bills, and it helps us receive a clearer overall picture of where we stand with our finances.
Furthermore, we hold family meetings every week or so to discuss our investments and how to efficiently accomplish all of our objectives. Usually I take notes and we discuss baby steps and specific time frames, which helps us keep dibs on everything and boosts momentum toward all of our greater financial goals.
So we will have a combined ‘main’ checking account for all of our income, with a pre-determined percentage siphoned away to our joint savings account (long term investments) and to our savings envelope (for short term needs and wants).
We will continue to have individual credit cards and pay off all balances in full each month.
Thus the plan for the weekend is:
1) on our way to the farmer’s market in the morning, to stop by a local bank branch and open the joint checking account.
2) on Saturday evening, to celebrate my Grammy’s 82nd birthday (although she insists she is 82 going on 28!)
3) to catch up on some weekend reading: for example, I need to nip through our collaborative eBook before it hits the next progressive stage
What works for your family in handling money matters—do you and your significant other have joint or separate bank accounts? What have been the advantages and disadvantages? Any issues?