talkin' money

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I know we (as in, we as a people, generally) don't talk about money very often. But we did, kinda, with new friends this weekend, and we got a great idea from them!

They keep 1 main bank account and everything for the month gets paid out from it. But then they have 2 separate checking accounts, 1 for each of them, that is used for spending money. It doesn't get tracked in the major budget, and you can spend it however you'd like. The money for the spending accounts comes from the leftover at the end of the month, which is split in half.

I love this idea of a spending account that I can use to get myself a pedicure, a new album on iTunes, or to save up my birthday money without it disappearing into the oblivion of the monthly budget. I know Larry likes the idea of being able to save up for the new iPhone 5 without hand calculating how much of the current checking account is "his." I married a saver, while mine tends to go $10 at a time. But the idea of splitting the difference at the end of the month doesn't work for 2 students whose pay checks aren't identical month-to-month, and neither are our student expenses (like the $1500 semesterly health insurance check we're about to write!). So we've modified the idea and come up with this:

- 2 separate spending accounts, 1 for each of us
- $15 a month going into each account plus any birthday/holiday money. Plus Christmas spending money for the other spouse so that we don't see what the other one bought.

So I thought I'd just open it up and see if anybody else has some ingenius money ideas out there that they're hoarding just because people don't talk about money! Do you keep separate spending accounts? How has it worked out for you? Any bugs in this system you want to warn me about?


JourneyBAM said...

now that's a cool idea! you know j and i are starting to figure this all out and are doing a joint account for now, but this is something i'd like to try eventually. it would be nice to have a little separate for those special purchases for one another or for that random money that isn't allocated to both of us (e.g. birthday money, etc). thanks for posting, megs!

gooddog said...

We have done the envelope system (a la crown ministries) since we married. We only use cash for food, misc, date night, kids stuff and house fixers. About 10 years ago we started "personal fun" envelopes also and it was the best thing we have done because it keeps us both from micromanaging each other's choices. Really, if Eric wants to spend $100 on his 100th jacket, great! If I want to save up to go visit a certain Jill Barlow in Boston every year, no prob! Recently we increased our envelopes to cover clothes too. That used to come out of misc but it seemed I was (ah-hem) spending a little more at Anthro than Eric does at Jos A Bank. oops!

Maybe one day we'll convert all of this to credit cards but cash has really kept us accountable in a way that we seem to lose whenever we start to swipe a lot. That's all I've got!
-heather bland