My boyfriend and I opened a joint chequing account the day we moved in together. It’s made managing our household finances a total breeze instead of a war zone, and we have yet to have a money squabble. There’s no right way to do couples finances, but this is what is working for us!
We set up our joint account with Tangerine, which is the bank both of us use for our everyday chequing and saving. If you don’t have an account with Tangerine. Free money is the perfect way to start out a shared bank account!
How My Boyfriend & I Manage Our Joint Chequing Account
- Each of us contributes $1,250 per month ($625 per paycheque) to the joint chequing account for a total of $2,500 per month.
- From that account, we pay for our shared expenses such as rent, utilities, internet, laundry, and groceries.
- Sometimes we also pay shared costs such as dinners out, vacation expenses, gifts for weddings we’re attending, etc.
- Each of us has the joint chequing account linked to our debit cards so it can be accessed any time, but usually we don’t make purchases without the other partner present.
- Individual purchases less than $10, such as picking up a treat at the grocery store or some other needed item with our regular purchases, don’t count. We’ve found it’s too much of a hassle to remember to “pay back” the joint account small sums withdrawn on a regular outing.
- Any extra or left over cash in the joint chequing will be used towards joint “fun” purchases like more furniture/decor for our place or weekends in the mountains, but thus far we’ve found our $1,250/mo each has been right on the money (ha!) for our living expenses.
Truthfully, going forward it might make sense for us to contribute more to the joint chequing account. The $1,250 each was what I calculated based on our fixed expenses and our regular grocery shopping, but what I didn’t account for is how much we spend on things we do together. Whenever I go out to dinner or to an event or concert, my boyfriend is usually right there with me. Since so much of our discretionary spending happens together, increasing our contributions to and our spending from the joint account makes sense, but for now we’re sticking with the $1,250 each.
Why this is the best system ever
Easiest Emergency Fund Balance calculation ever: need to save up 3 months of expenses? 3 x $1,250 = $3,750 required.
After I transfer my $625 to the joint account, I know that my living expenses and food are taken care of and the rest of my paycheque is entirely “mine”. This makes it budgeting simpler than ever because I don’t have to think “I better leave $60 in my account for food..”
Each partner is paying the exact same amount, so there’s no feelings of resentment about expenses being distributed unevenly. Because my boyfriend earns a higher salary than me and has less expenses, we discussed splitting bills proportionately to our incomes. However, because my income isn’t that much less and my student status is temporary, it wasn’t worth the hassle. Furthermore, $1,250 actually works out to less living expenses for me than before we lived together thanks to the reduced costs in splitting rent, internet, utilities, and groceries.
This is the first time I’ve shared finances with a partner and I can’t believe how easy it is — it’s even less of a headache than managing it all myself! How do you manage your finances with a partner, or plan to do so when you live with someone?