A few years ago I set up an account on Mint.com, but never really took the time to enter ALL of my bank information, credit card accounts and monthly expenses, so it sat kind of useless for a while.
While Nick and I have always shared financial responsibilities since we moved in together, we’ve admittedly been kind of lazy about completely combining our finances to make paying the bills and budgeting a bit more seamless. We have a joint bank account, but we use it only for saving for a house, and instead each have a personal bank account that we’ve always used on a regular basis for expenses, spending, and personal saving. I belong to a credit union that I love, Nick has belonged to the same bank for years, and neither of us ever wanted to switch, so we just stayed where we were. (Have I mentioned that we’re both stubborn Leos?)
I lived in our apartment alone for two years before Nick moved in with me, so I already had BillPayer set up for all of the utilities, which were all in my name; as such, I still just pay for the utilities and rent, and Nick writes me a check (yes, writes me a check!) each month for his half of everything. I pay for our car insurance and he pays for our cell phone plans. We each pay for our own car, and I pay off my student loans. We have separate credit cards that we use and pay off individually from our own accounts.
While it’s been easy to just stick with our old habits that began four years ago, this system is no longer working efficiently for us and it has become increasingly difficult to set goals for saving when our money is still somewhat separate. And, let’s face it: it’s time to stop being lazy. I always want to keep a bank account in my name, and Nick will do the same, but it’s finally time that we sit down and combine our everyday expenses so everything comes from one account. It may take a bit of time, but I’m pretty sure it will be way better than continuing with our current ridiculous setup.
Last week I revisited my Mint.com account and finally finished setting everything up; tonight, we have a hot date online to get Nick’s accounts added so we can see everything in one place, and to figure out how to move money to our joint account accordingly. Hopefully being able to track all of our spending together in one place will help us to make cuts where we need to, and it will allow us to save smarter for our future. While I know we’ll probably never have it together as well as my friend Catherine (seriously, she is my budgeting hero), I’m pretty sure I’ll feel a lot better once we’re all organized.
How do you and your partner share your money?