Joint account – meaning how to improve your life by avoiding piles of receipts as in the image:
Many couples have some kind of system for managing their joint financials. The “receipt system” shown above is one popular alternative – but unfortunately it’s quite burdensome. Naturally, there are other systems. Once, I was grocery shopping in the nearby Lidl, and heard the following discussion:
[The woman picks a bag of candy and throws it in the cart]
Man: Do we really need them too? Don’t we have enough treats for the party?
Woman: We need to have plenty! I assume you’ll pay this time?
– Oh, so I should pay for this?
– Well, it is your turn this time, isn’t it?
– Yeah, but I also paid for the last party, while you’ve just done regular groceries!
It was pretty obvious that their system of “pay every other time” wasn’t really working optimally.
Could you set up things somehow easier? As dealing with receipts is burdensome to even out expenses, we use a joint household account. This account is used for rent, electricity, internet, Netflix, and groceries, for example. In addition, the money can be used for going out together. We originally got the joint account from the S-bank, since it was free (assuming you buy groceries regularly, so the bonuses offset for the account expense). We both possess a debit card for the account, meaning we can shop individually. Our policy for using the joint card is quite laissez faire: We trust each others’ judgment about what is reasonable, and check with each other with bigger expenses. This also means that I don’t complain about Sonja buying liquorice candy, and she is fine with my microbrews.
The key thing with the account is that we both input an agreed sum of money monthly, ensuring that the account can handle our monthly joint expenses. The sum is agreed upon in the regular family budget negotiations, but that’s a topic for another post 🙂