Good morning Dinks. This past weekend Nick and I were shopping for household items and when we got to the checkout we had to decide how we were going to pay for our purchases. We could pay debit, credit or cash for our purchases. We had to decide if we were going to use our joint bank account or our joint credit card to pay for our purchases.
Until recently Nick and I kept separate bank accounts and to tell you the truth we opened a joint bank account but we don’t actually use it. We opened the account because I felt a couple who has been together for 15 years should have a joint bank account; but we were already so set in our ways that neither one of us wanted to change how we banked. Needless to say whenever we go shopping together it never occurs to us to pay with money from our joint account.
Is a joint account only for household expenses?
How do you and your spouse decide what purchases you make from a joint account? Maybe your joint account is a bank account or maybe it’s a credit card, Nick and I now have both. We have always had a joint credit card and now we also have a joint bank account. I would like to know how other couples do it. Who pays for what in your relationship and how do you decide whether to use your joint bank account, joint credit card or pay cash?
Joint account for joint use?
I personally think that a joint bank account should be used for joint expenses such as monthly house expenses like groceries or furniture or a fun couple’s expense like a couple’s vacation. Nick and I each pay for everything equally and usually with our debit card.
Sometimes we use our joint credit card for major purchases such as our new TV (remember my week of bad money luck?) but usually we just pay for expenses with our own money from our individual accounts. We don’t necessarily split each bill right down the middle, but we do end up contributing equally at the end of the month. What types of purchases do you and your spouse charge on your joint credit card or pay from a joint bank account?
The problem with joint account
My only credit card is the joint credit card that I have with Nick. This makes it very hard to surprise him with any gifts unless I pay cash for purchases from my own bank account. There are certain types of purchases that require a credit card.
I recently wanted to surprise Nick with two tickets to an NBA game, you probably remember that he is a huge sports fan. I called Ticketmaster from my office and charged the purchase on our credit card. I didn’t know if Nick had used the card recently and therefore I didn’t think he would be watching the transactions on our joint credit card. Well I was wrong. He knew about the tickets even before I received them in the mail. Eliminating the element of surprise is a major disadvantage to having a joint credit card.
Photo from Flickr