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    • 1730Ian
    • By 1730Ian 3rd Jan 17, 11:23 AM
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    1730Ian
    How do you manage your joint income?
    • #1
    • 3rd Jan 17, 11:23 AM
    How do you manage your joint income? 3rd Jan 17 at 11:23 AM
    Hi All,

    I have been an avid reader of the forum for some time now, however only just set up an account... so hello to all!

    myself and my wife have recently purchased a house and took out a personal loan to renovate it... because of this, we have had to really tighten up our finances and have followed the advise given on this website, creating a budget, reducing outgoings, balance transfer card, etc. There should be excess cash after our outgoings that we could potentially pay off debts quicker with.

    One thing we are really struggling with at the moment is managing any spare cash and allocating money from each others accounts. we both have separate accounts and direct debits set up between the two. it is obvious at the moment this is not working so we are looking at the best option to manage this process better.

    So my question is this... how do you currently manage your joint income with your partner? do you have a joint account? a separate account that you pay into to cover bills etc?

    Thanks for any advise and apologies if this isn't in the right section!

    Regards,

    Ian



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    Last edited by Former MSE Jessica; 10-01-2017 at 12:48 PM.
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    • dano17439
    • By dano17439 3rd Jan 17, 11:32 AM
    • 324 Posts
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    dano17439
    • #2
    • 3rd Jan 17, 11:32 AM
    • #2
    • 3rd Jan 17, 11:32 AM
    Me and my wife are a team. We have 1 current account, which everything goes into and goes out of. Personally I don't understand married couples having separate bank accounts. If you are married then you are one. I suppose that I am lucky as we both earn similar amounts, however if wouldn't bother me if I earned a million a year and my wife earned nothing, as a married couple you are in it together no?


    As a side note we never argue about money either.


    I couldn't think of anything worse that say if I was cold my wife wouldn't let me put the heating on because it would increase her 50%. Ridiculous really
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 3rd Jan 17, 12:27 PM
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    determined new ms
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 17, 12:27 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 17, 12:27 PM
    we have our own separate accounts and a joint account where all joint finances come out of. We put a proportional amount into it each month and most joint/house things come out of that, except when we want to spend more and we both have to contribute.

    It's worked well for us over the years and we have put varying amounts in depending on our incomes. However now I work part time and I put a lot less in than oh so it has become a little more complicated
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    • Mysteek
    • By Mysteek 3rd Jan 17, 12:38 PM
    • 221 Posts
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    Mysteek
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 17, 12:38 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 17, 12:38 PM
    Hi 1730 Ian


    I think it all boils down to how you see your earnings, is it 'my' money or 'our' money. We have always considered all monies earned by myself and DH as 'our' money and haver never had separate accounts. Our earnings are paid into a joint account and all bills paid out of this account. Someone has to be in 'control' of how this all works though, so there has to be 100% trust in that person. DH has always been happy for me to deal with all money matters from when we were first married (been married for 42 years) and its always worked for us and we've never fallen out over money.


    However, my 2 daughters work differently (one married, one in a relationship). They have joint accounts with their partners, but have separate accounts into which their salaries are paid. Each partner then transfers half of all joint bills into the joint account, keeping all non joint bills for them to pay from their respective own accounts, things like their mobile phone, car loans, credit cards etc. This works for them too I suppose but there seems a reluctant for the partner who earns more to let the other partner know exactly what they earn and also to share any remaining monies with the partner who earns less when they have run out of money, as it is classed as 'their' money. This seems to be a reflection on the whole of their relationship though, not just money matters. They don't seem to be 'together' if you know what I mean.


    I think you really have to decide what will work for you as no two situations are exactly the same, just as no two relationships are exactly the same.


    Good luck in what you decide to do
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    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 3rd Jan 17, 1:44 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    • #5
    • 3rd Jan 17, 1:44 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Jan 17, 1:44 PM
    We have always had a joint current account into which our salaries and joint bills come out of.

    In the early years when we had little spare money we used to each do a weekly cash withdrawal for personal spends. Now we do a regular standing order to a personal account for each of us so we both get 250 per month to cover clothes and personal spends.

    My husband is now retired and I work part time (retiring next year). This way we have always had the same amount of money to spend even though our income has varied over the years. We both earned the same before we had kids but mine went up and down due to part time working as husband progressed in his career and his salary went up.

    This seemed the fairest way of doing it and gave us both some private money we could have access to. I also got fed up of constantly asking OH what each cash withdrawal was for when we only had a joint account as he was not so much into budgeting as me.
    Early retired in December 2017

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    • Schoolworker
    • By Schoolworker 3rd Jan 17, 2:09 PM
    • 360 Posts
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    Schoolworker
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 17, 2:09 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 17, 2:09 PM
    My hubbie and I have a joint account. I will only work 3 days term time and look after the kids during all holidays. Hubbie is paid 6times my salary but its our money. I have a notebook which I enter wages and use a spreadsheet to enter monthlt expenditure including money to saving accounts and keep a running balance so when it spend I mark it up on the book. I do check our bank account every 3-4days to see what Hubble e spends so I have a true balance of what's in the account. It seems to work for us and there is money there to spend on clothes haircuts etc.
    • Skibunny40
    • By Skibunny40 3rd Jan 17, 2:17 PM
    • 271 Posts
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    Skibunny40
    • #7
    • 3rd Jan 17, 2:17 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Jan 17, 2:17 PM
    Yep, joint account here too. Wasn't really an issue until we had kids and I wasn't earning anything - but I'm glad we already had the joint account set up. Nowadays, all money still goes into the joint account but we both have separate accounts as well that we each get the same amount "sanity money" each month, so we can still spend without having to explain / justify the purchase!
    • sysadmin
    • By sysadmin 3rd Jan 17, 2:43 PM
    • 162 Posts
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    sysadmin
    • #8
    • 3rd Jan 17, 2:43 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Jan 17, 2:43 PM
    Me and my wife are a team. We have 1 current account, which everything goes into and goes out of. Personally I don't understand married couples having separate bank accounts. If you are married then you are one. I suppose that I am lucky as we both earn similar amounts, however if wouldn't bother me if I earned a million a year and my wife earned nothing, as a married couple you are in it together no?


    As a side note we never argue about money either.


    I couldn't think of anything worse that say if I was cold my wife wouldn't let me put the heating on because it would increase her 50%. Ridiculous really
    Originally posted by dano17439
    We are exactly the same as this and couldn't agree more. I earn 4 x more than my wife but we are a team so its our money
    • fromtheshires
    • By fromtheshires 3rd Jan 17, 10:05 PM
    • 297 Posts
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    fromtheshires
    • #9
    • 3rd Jan 17, 10:05 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Jan 17, 10:05 PM
    It depends on the dynamics of life to some extent as well.

    I had my house along with everything in my name when my husband moved in with me. I just get 50% of all bills transferred to my bank account each month on the first and I pay them all out of my account.

    We are very much one unit and have a cash pile of a few hundred at home we just top up when one takes money from it but whats mine is mine and what his is his. If there are any big spends its just a case of one of us will pay and the other sends a FP over for their half. We saw no need to amalgamate accounts in this day and age where we can transfer up to 10k in the blink of an eye.
    • Dobbibill
    • By Dobbibill 3rd Jan 17, 10:41 PM
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    Dobbibill
    A bills account is definitely something you need, whether that is sole or joint really doesn't matter, if you trust each other.

    My DH and I did everything joint when our children were young and that worked.
    Now we both earn approx the same and pay equal amounts into the bills account. Everything else is our own to do what we want with, this also works for us now the children are grown up.

    He likes takeaways in work quite often, I don't particularly like many takeaways, so we can both do what we want with our spends.

    It's all about personal choice. Just make sure it works for both of you. It's still a joint decision even if it's not a joint account
    • Bumblebear
    • By Bumblebear 4th Jan 17, 2:22 PM
    • 98 Posts
    • 453 Thanks
    Bumblebear
    Another vote for the joint account for bills and mortgage but with salaries paid into personal accounts.


    I've nothing against having it all in a joint account, although personally I like to keep a bills account separate anyway, and we don't get paid at the same time. We already had separate current accounts, mortgages, cards, savings etc when we met. DH gets 4k more than me, soon to be 7k, but he always says that it's "our money" which I do think is sweet of him considering he has savings, and I have a credit card bill. We both put 50% of the house costs in, even though I earn less, but there's an understanding that he's squirreling away savings for rainy days, family etc - and my savings will always be 'modest' and for personal use.


    As an added benefit, I recommended him for a Nationwide current account from my current account, even though we already have a joint account with Nationwide, to receive a 100 bonus each - kerching!
    • redmel1621
    • By redmel1621 4th Jan 17, 3:38 PM
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    redmel1621
    I would go for a joint account and set all the DD's up in that account. You can then work out how much each of you needs to transfer each month to cover the bills.
    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
    Nothing is going to get better. It's not.

    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 4th Jan 17, 3:51 PM
    • 9,772 Posts
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    EssexHebridean
    We have both a joint account - which the bills are paid from - and separate accounts for our own spending money. For us this is the best of both worlds - MrEH's salary goes straight into the joint account, and a transfer then comes out for his personal cash directly to his account. Mine goes into my account as there is a bit more variability on pay dates - and I then transfer my contribution to the joint account, retaining my personal cash in my own account.

    We also have a cashback credit card - technically mine but he's named cardholder on it also so we see this as joint. When the statement comes in we both transfer any personal spending that's gone on the card in the month into the joint account and I transfer to the card from there, along with the joint expenditure.

    For running a household, having all the "household" spending coming from a central pot makes it far easier to keep track. You end up with an account with just lumps of income, and then Direct Debits or standing orders out again, making it far easier to track what's gone where.

    I'm afraid I have to disagree with those who will attempt to infer that if you don't have just the one account with total transparency on who spends what, down to the last penny, there is some form of problem in your relationship. At the end of the day it entirely comes down to what suits the individual couple - I don't feel the need to check on every last penny of MrEH's spending, nor he on mine, whereas others might feel that they need 100% transparency. Horses for courses. Personal money is just that - I save a far higher proportion of mine than he does, he buys more mars bars than are probably good for him, but each of those things comes down to our own decisions.

    One very important point if you choose to go down the separate accounts route however - should anything happen and one of you dies unexpectedly, the other will find themselves temporarily having to fund everything from their own account as the deceased's account will be frozen....that can be a very good reason to have things for household bills arranged centrally. We none of us like to imagine that this could happen, but it pays to be aware. The very last thing most people want at a time when they are dealing with the trauma of the loss of a partner, is to suddenly get a call from the bank to say the mortgage payment has bounced...
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    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 4th Jan 17, 3:53 PM
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    Mojisola
    One very important point if you choose to go down the separate accounts route however - should anything happen and one of you dies unexpectedly, the other will find themselves temporarily having to fund everything from their own account as the deceased's account will be frozen....that can be a very good reason to have things for household bills arranged centrally.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    It's a good reason to set up POAs too.
    • Diodiva
    • By Diodiva 4th Jan 17, 4:05 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    Diodiva
    I'm at the beginning of this sort of journey, my partner and I have recently moved into our first rented property together, we spit the deposit down the middle shared all the costs and set up a joint account specifically for the deposit saving and moving costs this was then converted into our rent and all other house bills account. We both have a card and full access and transfer an equal amount in each month, however if we are out and about and need shopping etc or something for the house we will often put it on the joint then transfer a little extra when were next doing online banking from our personal accounts

    This particular set up is still evolving, initially we alternated food shopping weeks but some weeks were bigger than others now we just use the joint and pay an additional smidge into the account each month to cover the food.

    This works for us and as I have small debts and get paid weekly and my partner gets paid monthly and has savings it's easier for us both to manage our own finances and then put in together for holidays and all sorts.

    I do expect however that when we have a family or marry this will probably change when maternity pay or a bigger difference in income comes into play and my salary will probablyt hen switch into either being paid straight into the joint account as our money or the majority would bounce straight in. I would expect to be working in a monthly earning job by then however which will make budgeting simpler.

    All in all go for what works for you, We dont argue about money, both know the status of each others accounts but have only been together 18 months and despite living together complete linking of our finances isnt really appropriate at this time, and with modern online banking it's not necessary either.

    Lou
    • MallyGirl
    • By MallyGirl 4th Jan 17, 4:42 PM
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    MallyGirl
    Me and my wife are a team. We have 1 current account, which everything goes into and goes out of. Personally I don't understand married couples having separate bank accounts. If you are married then you are one. I suppose that I am lucky as we both earn similar amounts, however if wouldn't bother me if I earned a million a year and my wife earned nothing, as a married couple you are in it together no?


    As a side note we never argue about money either.

    I couldn't think of anything worse that say if I was cold my wife wouldn't let me put the heating on because it would increase her 50%. Ridiculous really
    Originally posted by dano17439
    us too - but when we bought our first house together it was an offset One Account which only works if all the money is in one place, offsetting the mortgage, and payments all go out at the latest possible date. Over the years - together 22, married 16 - OH's salary went past mine when I went on maternity and I never caught up as I returned to work part time for 10 years. Just before OH was made redundant he had reached double my full time pay but had to take a big drop with his new job. I am glad that through all this we just worked as a team and have never argued about money. I control all the bills/finances as OH is not interested. He just asks for the current balance sometimes
    • FrugalinShropshire
    • By FrugalinShropshire 4th Jan 17, 4:59 PM
    • 207 Posts
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    FrugalinShropshire
    We have a joint account that shopping, DD and sinking funds go out of. All our money goes into there and what is left at the end of the month after savings goes equally into our seperate accounts. We are then free to spend our 'pocket money' as we see fit. We budget very carefully using a purse system and always use cash, so spare cash gets put in a jar and banked and divided between us. It works well for us as everything is budgeted for.
    Now Mrs FrugalinShropshire Proud to be mortgage and debt free
    • ManicRower
    • By ManicRower 4th Jan 17, 5:12 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    ManicRower
    Another vote for:


    - Joint Account for all the bills/direct debits, bills split 50/50.
    - Separate current accounts where our salaries are paid into
    - We transfer roughly 20% over and above the bills to cover any household expenses, like a boiler service, or a big shop.


    It works well for us because:
    - All bills are 'taken care of' at the beginning of the month, it's easy for us to look in our own accounts and see how much we have left over for 'fun' stuff and savings (both each and/or combined).
    - We are fortunate enough to both earn decent salaries which are comparable. We both split the flat deposit 50/50 etc.


    Having said that, if and when there is a time where our salaries are not comparable (e.g. pregnancy/childcare/redundancy), I envisage covering most if not all of the bills/mortgage and paying for more 'fun stuff' too. I echo what people say about being a team, even though my salary is paid into my account and my wife's the same, we still view it as 'our' money even though it's in different pots.
    • 1730Ian
    • By 1730Ian 4th Jan 17, 5:37 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    1730Ian
    Thanks everyone!

    Applicate all your comments, and taking everything on board

    We have set up a meeting with the bank to open up a joint account, so I think we will go down the route of having one central 'pot' for bills and separate accounts for 'play' money/putting in savings

    we very much see both wages as 'our' money are also on a very similar pay, the problem has been more getting paid at different times of the month, having to pay out work expenses which we don't see back till the end of month etc, and understanding how each others money works. As I say we are fairly new home buyers and have now took on some personal loans, so its a learning curve how we manage this process!
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 4th Jan 17, 5:52 PM
    • 2,173 Posts
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    Fireflyaway
    My husband and I each have our own accounts that we are paid into and then we each transfer an agreed sum into a joint one where the bills come out. We earn very differrent amounts and so transfer different amounts for bills ( my husband pays around 3 times more than me) but the key is we both agree on it so we never argue or feel resentful. The tricky bit is agreeing on the amounts to begin with. Could you agree on a sum for bills that means both of you have the same amount of 'spending money' left after bills? Contributing to a successful home is not just about money. If one partner raises the kids saving on childcare costs etc that also holds value.
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