We have been using a series of joint accounts to help us manage our household money. Sole accounts are where the money comes into the house, but joint accounts are largely where it is spent (and saved). The main joint account is where all the regular bills are paid from: the utility bills, the council tax, the TV license and all the rest. It’s where the money for our food is drawn from and where our day to day expenses are paid from.
Now we’d like a joint credit card account, but this isn’t possible (legal reasons I think), but we have one that we use as a joint credit card as we both have cards for the account. Again the bill for this is paid from our main joint bank account – are you seeing a pattern? The joint credit card is where any big purchases are paid from as we earn reward points and there’s extra consumer protection when you pay by credit card.
Saving up for things is done with joint savings accounts: there’s the holiday fund, the house fund and the car fund. The holiday fund is my husband’s favourite, it’s plotting the spending from this account that keeps him going when he is working long hours. For me it’s the house fund. I’m at home all day (it’s my office as well as my home) and there are so many things that ‘need’ doing. Our house was in a reasonable state when we moved in, but hadn’t had a lot of money spent on it for a while, so we have gradually been doing it up room by room, but it’s slow progress and expensive. Saving up currently to redo H’s room soon and in the medium term, we need to tackle the bathroom. New to the mix is the car fund. After the car broke down needing major surgery on Boxing Day, we haven’t felt quite so happy about keeping it for too much longer. Don’t get me wrong, we won’t be rushing into an expensive purchase like that, but we thought we should start saving up, so that if we have problems again, we have some money that we can use to replace our car.