Well, the answer is that it’s relatively straight forward. We follow a couple of principles which have sort of evolved over the course of our relationship.
Separate Accounts: Since we are DINKs, and have busy separate lives, we both maintain separate accounts to keep track of our own individual finances. For example, Miel has two ING accounts to handle her work and travel expenses. James has two accounts with PNC bank to fund his
wasting money, eating out, and movies, university studies.
Joint Accounts: We have joint accounts for our mortgage and investment property. Usually Miel handles our personal mortgage and James deals with the investment property, but we both have each others names on these accounts just in case.
Money Meetings: When our schedule isn’t too crazy, we usually talk on Saturday mornings to define what our joint goals should be. These conversations aren’t always easy, but we are both reasonable people who love each other very much, so most of the time we come up with a joint goal we can both buy into.
Finally, sometimes our accounts get out of hand, so we periodically try to close accounts we aren’t using to keep things under control. ING has recently made our lives easier so we can simplify our accounts with the new electric orange checking and we’ve stopped using our Wamu accounts.
How the accounts are structured is just part of how couples handle finances. The more tricky part is who pays for what and why. We’ll cover this in a post soon to come. In the mean time you can check out what the stats are for the rest of the country. According to a recent study by SmartMoney magazine and Redbook:
- Nearly 65% of couples put all their money in joint accounts
- 14% keep their money in separate accounts
- And 18% use both types of accounts.
James & Miel