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AIBU to think that this financial arrangement make sense or is way too complex?!

(66 Posts)
ComposHat Mon 29-Jul-13 18:03:13

Right here goes....

Just got married and both DW have roughly similar incomes (I am doing a PhD and have bursary, she works full time)

Until we got married, we had totally separate bank accounts (for a variety of reasons, but mostly because we have very different attitudes to money and spending habits. One saver and one spender)

Both of us world feel resentful of the other if the finances were totally shared, they'd be mutual accusations of 'running through the money and having nothing left to buy milk' or 'being deprived because the other is a tight bastard.' Neither of our approaches to money is right or wrong, just different and not reconcilable. We'd both feel our independence was being compromised and for us, everything in a joint account, isn't really an option.

Equally it is becoming a faff with joint expenses,such as the weekly shop. rent and utility bills, as we have to keep constant track of who owes who what.

So this is what I've come up with.

Our wages/bursaries continue into our personal bank accounts.

We each pay the same amount into a joint account for food, bills, rent/mortgage, council tax etc. (say £450 each) at the start of the month.

Whatever is left at the end of each month in the joint account is then transferred into a joint savings account.

That way we have three lots of money

1) Our personal accounts (our own to do with as we like)
2) The joint current account (for day to day purchases)
3) The joint savings account for expensive long term purchases such as furniture or as a 'rainy day fund'

Does this seem a bit convoluted and over elaborate? DW seems to think it will be harder to keep track of what money was where and making sure there was enough in each account.

Any thoughts or alternatives would be gratefully received!

DontmindifIdo Tue 30-Jul-13 14:26:43

NFK - dinner together for us, is either the joint account or one of us treating the other, or if we're paying cash, go halves. More often than not DH treats me as although we set it up to have roughly the same 'fun money' each month, he gets paid for overtime so often will have slightly more than me, but then he puts more in our savings account, so we normally end up spending the same on ourselves. (We didn't set the budget to include bonuses or overtime on the grounds that neither are garenteed money, we tend to save both, unless we have specific big things to get with them, eg. DH bought an annual rail ticket with his last bonus, the one before he stuck on over paying on the mortgage.)

pizzaqueen Tue 30-Jul-13 13:10:00

This is exactly what me and DP do. Works well for us.

Viviennemary Tue 30-Jul-13 13:05:36

That sounds fine to me. It is a bit over-complicated but it can still work as long as you are both earning similar amounts and have more or less the same fixed expenses like travel to work and so on. When it doesn't work and causes resentment is when one person earns vastly more than the othe partner and both partners have to pay equal share of expenses. Not on.

EllieQ Tue 30-Jul-13 13:04:26

nkf going out for dinner together would probably come from the joint account, unless one of us was treating the other eg: Birthdays.

EllieQ Tue 30-Jul-13 13:03:05

That's exactly what we do - we have a joint account for all household costs (from mortgage to pet insurance), and a joint credit card which is paid off in full each month. All household shopping (groceries, house stuff, joint entertainment eg cinema tickets) go onto the credit card (except bits of top-up shopping like bread or milk which would be paid for in cash).

We've worked out how much needs to go into the joint account to cover monthly expenses, including a monthly amount for anything that's paid quarterly/ yearly, and the average monthly amount on the credit card, and after payday we each pay our share into the joint account (currently 50:50 as we earn the same, but has varied).

This works well as we know that whatever is left in our own accounts is our own money to do whatever we want with! If there is a more expensive month on the credit card, we can put extra money across at the start of the following month to make sure there is enough in the joint account to cover it.

If we have children and there are far more monthly expenses, we might switch to pay going into the joint account and 'personal cash' being moved from that into our own accounts, to make it easier.

nkf Tue 30-Jul-13 13:02:42

If you do the joint pot, separate fun accounts, how dovyou pay for going out to dinner together?

Alohomora Tue 30-Jul-13 13:00:39

Sounds entirely reasonable to me. I'm a spender, DH is a saver, we have debt to pay off and are saving for a house deposit. He earns about twice what I do.

Wages go into our own accounts, monthly money to cover bills/petrol/rent goes into shared account (what each person pays is calculated percentage wage as he earns more).

It works for us and means I curtail my spending. If we go out we share the bill, though - I always get confused/impatient when we go out with friends who live together and there's kerfuffle cause one person doesn't have enough change for their coffee and the other won't cover it.

ComposHat Tue 30-Jul-13 12:49:34

steal away chub

chubbymomie2012 Tue 30-Jul-13 12:41:24

I think it sounds sim,e enough. infact might be tempted to steal the blue print!

AnythingNotEverything Tue 30-Jul-13 12:38:48

Sounds sensible to me. It's actually probably simpler than how we do things, but DH is a spreadsheet geek.

I think separate spending money is key if you have different attitudes to money. DH would check his statement every day, whereas I'm a bit more laissez-faire, and keep a rough track of spending in my head. I never go over my mogul budget, but it drives him mad that I don't know how much money is in my account! It also means I can buy gifts and haircuts without having to justify the cost, and he can do the same with golf.

tomverlaine Tue 30-Jul-13 12:26:44

we have the same - although we put in a disproportionate amount (which has varied over the years). You may want to consider joint credit card as well for big one off expenses.
Also make sure you know what joint expenses consist of- eg can you buy birthday presents from it?

TeenAndTween Tue 30-Jul-13 12:20:26

I think it is fine, and is how DH and I are set up.

However you need to discuss what if incomes differ, or one disappears. You are a unit, if you have no income during phd write up, your wife or joint savings should support you.
Similarly if 3 years down the line your wife goes on maternity leave, you / joint savings should support her.

I would suggest putting in proportionate to your income (so now you both put in the same). And also putting in a bit more to build in the buffer you need for your phd write up, and later children ( planned or otherwise.

I also think car should come out of joint, it is a household necessity (to enable you to get to work).

CheeseandPickledOnion Tue 30-Jul-13 12:10:25

That's exactly how me and my DH split things and it worked really well for us.

ComposHat Tue 30-Jul-13 10:58:30

premium bonds - what an excellent idea!

WilsonFrickett Tue 30-Jul-13 10:03:34

I'm another one who seconds premium bonds rather than savings, certainly while interest rates are so poor. We win around £25 almost every month, which is more than we'd get in interest. And they're a little bit harder to get your hands on the money - you have to do a bank transfer rather than just going to an ATM, which is a good thing in my book!

bumbleymummy Tue 30-Jul-13 09:54:13

Sounds fine to me.

UC Tue 30-Jul-13 09:29:08

DP and I have almost exactly that set up. For similar-ish reasons. It works.

KatyN Tue 30-Jul-13 09:18:23

we do this too.. except we each get the same amount of spending money rather than paying the same amount into the joint fund. that way if one of you starts earning more (or maternity leave - am I thinking too far in advance) it's fairer.

We only have one account though and manage our spending money through a spreadsheet. I felt really unconfortable about having a bank account that my DH couldn't access.


Didactylos Tue 30-Jul-13 09:14:37

it sounds pretty sensible
look at how many threads on here are about unequal financial arrangements between partners:

We do something similar for a joint/household account except a sort of proportional sum as theres a bit of a difference between our incomes and it would be unfair if we paid the exact same amount. Set proportion for each of us goes into a savings account too. Personal debts/cards etc are paid off from our individual accounts, clothes, presents etc. So we can both prioritise from our own income without feeling we have to justify ourselves to the other. If theres an issue (mistake on wages, cashflow issue, big purchase, between jobs) we usually have enough in the joint account to cover or the unaffected one will step in with money from a personal account to cover a cashflow crisis

sparechange Tue 30-Jul-13 09:05:06

Sounds sensible, except, would the spender have any money left to put in the savings account?
Because if after a year, it is all from the saver, and then the spender suggests buying something, would they have an equal say?

How about on payday
Set amount goes into the 'household' account, set amount goes into the 'savings' account and what ever is left over, you keep

(also, can you do it as a % of take home pay, to make it fair if one of you gets a payrise or cut?)

212VIP Tue 30-Jul-13 08:39:36

That's exactly what we do. Not convoluted. Very straightforward.
Although there's never anything to transfer into the savings ime... ;)

ConfusedPixie Tue 30-Jul-13 08:36:19

Dp and I do what is written in your op. But I tend to put a lot more in earn more and have more to spend, so our savings is essentially made up of my earnings. I have no savings of my own whereas does to cover the shortfall when he vs earning less (exam time and early summer).

Tbh it has ended up that any income is joint income in our minds, we just happen to keep some in our own accounts because it's easier to keep track of our individual spending and personal budgeting that way instead of puzzling which transaction was mine or his and what it was on.

travailtotravel Tue 30-Jul-13 08:24:31

I understand how you both think now ComposHat but really recommend you start talking about it and thinking about it now - perhaps with the advise of this thread.

What if you DW lost her job for any reason (god forbid)? What will you do when writing up?

Best you don't argue face these questions at the time.

ComposHat Mon 29-Jul-13 23:44:35

okay I can see the logic of the all in a joint account amd then pocket money each. However I'd feel awkward about asking DW to support me whilst finishing up the PhD. I doubt the suggestion would sit well with her either. I think we are so used to thinking 'my money & his/her money' rather than 'our money' that it wouldn't work.

WhereYouLeftIt Mon 29-Jul-13 23:07:22

We do it slightly differently. All income goes into a joint account, because we consider all money to be jointly owned. But, money is transferred by standing order from the joint account to our two personal accounts, we each get the same amount of 'pocket money', and it's ours to do with as we wish; save it, spend it, fritter it away, whatever we want. If a surplus builds up in the joint account, it is transferred to a joint savings account, but this doesn't happen every month.

I have in the past done it the way you are planning to do it, and although it was OK in the short term, in the long term you have to keep revisiting the arrangement/amounts whenever there's a big shift in joint expenses or a change in one person's income. The way we do it now, what changes is how much 'pocket money' we take. Over the years it has gone up and down, but always equal and always with the joint expenses taking priority.

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