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WWYD - setting up joint account

(16 Posts)
pettyprudence Fri 23-Sep-11 20:41:51

Me and DH have been married 2.5 years and together 10+ years but still don't have a joint account. We keep meaning to set one up but never get round to it. I think on my part because I'm worried about how it would work.

Being the main earner, all bills have always come out of my account and DH has put what he could afford (usually 50%) in my account. We would just randomly take it in turns to pay for groceries etc.... and I normally paid for holidays, splurges etc....

We now have DS, and DH is now the main bread winner-ish and I think we need to start thinking of our incomes being "Our" money. This isn't just because I am not earning as much but because I think it will be more relevant for paying for things for DS - at the moment I seem to end up being the one paying for the shopping when we need nappies, clothes, wipes etc....

My worry about a joint account is that we are both fairly frivolous spenders but while I keep an eye on what's in my account and always make sure I have enough in there to see us through the month, my DH doesn't have a clue what he has and often runs out halfway through. He has no idea how much and when his direct debits go out (drives me round the bend. I now keep track of those too). How do people keep track of what's in their joint accounts? I don't want to be stood at the till in tesco and find out that our account is empty.

It seems a bit pointless having a joint account, and an account each (for pocket money) but maybe thats the way forward? Or do I need to let go of control? Or should I just get DH to have all his wages put in my account and I give him pocket money? grin

Sorry for the long post! TIA

DecapitatedLegoman Fri 23-Sep-11 20:51:22

Very, very similar situation here smile

We're in the process of setting up 2 joint accounts. One for direct debits, one for joint outgoings such as groceries and childcare. We will also both keep our existing personal accounts but have the same amount of spending money each. DH freely admits that I am more likely to save etc so was happy for this arrangement to come into force. Thanks to online banking it should be easy to manage once up and running.

olddog Fri 23-Sep-11 20:59:33

We have a joint account for grown up important things like mortgage and council tax and a pocket money account each so we are free to spend on frivolities without worrying that the other person will be trying to pay for something important, like food, and find the account lacking. We did used to just have a joint account but I couldn't cope.

pettyprudence Fri 23-Sep-11 21:53:28

hmm multiple accounts seems to be the way forward. I already have multiple accounts of my own, a few more to keep track of shouldn't be to hard!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 24-Sep-11 06:26:37

Have a joint account to pay for DDs (utilities, mortgage, insurance etc) and regular household expenses like groceries. At the same time have a joint saving account to pay for things like holidays, replacing appliances, home maintenance projects and other one-off big ticket items. If DH knows he is rubbish with money, you hold the cards/chequebook. Set up as online accounts and get into the habit of checking the balance daily

Contribution to the joint expenses and savings accounts should be pro-rata to earnings and both parties left with a similar amount of 'spends' at the end of the day.

sleepevader Sat 24-Sep-11 07:07:07

Agree with cognito- now the question for me is why don't we do that!

PotteringAlong Sat 24-Sep-11 07:33:55

We have 4 accounts! Bills, savings (joint) and a spending account each that we both get the same into every month. it just evolved like that but seems to work well as can properly keep track of stuff.

PotteringAlong Sat 24-Sep-11 07:36:02

Ps, like cognito, mt DH doesn't have the cards / cheque books for the savings and joint accounts. He freely admits to being of the 'let's spend it quick' camp so I have them!

acumenin Sat 24-Sep-11 07:37:30

We have a joint account which pays out its standing orders to our sole accounts (equal amounts) and our savings account once a month. All bills come out of the joint account and anything left over goes into the projects pot.

It's dead easy to set up and then you can forget about it, and you don't need to negotiate about money ever again. I recommend it.

Gigondas Sat 24-Sep-11 07:43:07

We do what cogito does(bills childcare etc) I pay I'm a certain amount and dh pays in a bit more (he earns a lot more than me). Excess for holiday ,house stuff etc comes out of savings or dh pays.

When lived with ex and earned same split all bills/household 50 50.

It works quite well - mainly cos I know what dh has in pocket money and vice versa so it never feels like it's not a shared arrangement despite doing it this way

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 24-Sep-11 07:52:50

I feel I should fess up that I'm a singleton. What I recommended was how things used to operate when I was a DW. 'DH' at the time was pathologically crap with money, ran up overdrafts, debts, credit card bills and treated any attempt by me to organise his finances as a personal attack on his civil liberties or masculinity hmm. We divorced.

BUT

Because I had always retained my own account, because the household bills had always been met in full from the joint account and because all the debts he racked up were on his personal accounts, when he left I still had a roof over my head, still had a few quid in the bank & was ultimately much better off. <sly wink emoticon> If everything had been in joint names I'd have been paddle-free in a shit creek scenario. Take note ladies...

sleepevader Sat 24-Sep-11 18:25:47

Cogito- brilliant advice. Hope many take heed in your warning.

trixymalixy Sat 24-Sep-11 18:32:51

What cogito said. My DH is also crap and just spends until his card stops working, so I had him move any direct debits from his account to the joint so I can keep track and make sure everything gets paid.

TrillianAstra Sat 24-Sep-11 19:06:07

DP and I are not married and do not have children but we do have a joint account.

Right now we put in x% of our income each month, and the joint account pays for rent, bills, food and any other shared expenses.

If we were to marry or have children we would change it so that instead of contributing the same percentage, we contributed such that we both had the same amount of disposable income in our personal accounts.

Having a joint account does not mean that all your money must go in there.

cat64 Sat 24-Sep-11 19:36:11

Message withdrawn

chickydoo Sun 16-Oct-11 14:57:37

We have been married 20 years and Never had a joint account.
DH has always earned more than me, so he pays bills, car stuff, school fees and major purchaces.
I buy food for the family (3 kids) clothes, Xmas and birthdays, holidays and anything to do with household maintenance and buying stuff for home. Also pay for all ex curricular stuff for kids.
DH hasn't had a pay increase for 8 years, my money has gone up a tiny bit, so I find I now pay for more. It is tricky as we all know food etc has gone up massivly, but it still comes out of my small wage.
The positives of having our own accounts are that I never have to explain purchaces to DH, If I buy something he assumes I can afford it so there is no discussion. Sometimes I would like to have a joint account as if I know a bill needed paying I would pay it rather than wait for a demand which my DH seems to think is fine.

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