The other weekend Bunny and I took a little bit of an impromptu roadtrip into Newmarket. He'd been trying to pick up some paints for his model car that he's building for awhile, and for the last three weekends the hobby shop in town had been out of every single colour he needed. Finally one of the associates recommended we drive down to Newmarket and we found out that no problem, they had everything.
On the car ride down we had a few talks though about money and priorities and life. Bunny's bank account doesn't really have much in the way of buffer between his income and his share of regular expenses. On top of that there have been extra expenses lately (he had another dentist visit this weekend that kind of cleaned him out) and he's been stressed.
Part of it's my fault. We view all of our money as "our" money, whether it's in my account or his account, but his accounts look pretty sad lately. I've been procrastinating pretty hardcore on the budget and on getting all of our figures to him. I mean, I know where the money goes, I know what savings to be expecting but everything's all over the place with our money right now and I need to start untangling and simplifying.
We've been putting off joining the accounts until my name change is complete legally as an attempt to simplify. It's a little unfair though, because I bring in more money on a regular basis than he does and the expenses that have traditionally been his are way higher than mine. Essentially his regular income just covers the bills and his spending with a tiny bit to spare, whereas my paycheque covers my loans, my fun money, our joint entertainment with significant savings every cheque.
The big stuff is all in place: we have the money to cover our fixed expenses, we have freedom with our money and we save pretty aggressively. What we don't have right now is a plan for exactly what we should be expecting in savings and expenses. I know pretty well what we spend on ourselves but it's been a long time since we've taken a critical eye to it. We also have all our savings lumped into two catagories one account where we put aside money for the taxes on Bunny's freelance, and my account that is combination emergency fund, house savings and short term savings goals. We need to tease out little spots to, say, save for the vacation we've both been craving for years, even if it's just a jar on the dresser that we each stash some personal money in every other week.
So the next week or two I'm trying to dedicate some extra time into putting the numbers together and presenting things to him. We're in good financial shape, really, it's just that our different bank accounts give two very different views of things and don't actually reflect our financial philosophies.
How do you handle family money? Are accounts together, separate or a bit of both? Are you living up to your ideals?