Combining Our Finances: The Joint Account

Combining Our Finances: The Joint Account

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Like many other decisions in personal finance there is no one way to handle your finances as a couple. We’ve come across many approaches in the PF scene from the ‘let’s split everything‘ to the ‘good luck, you’re on your own!‘. As far as it goes, I think we’re in the middle; I don’t want to pay for Joe’s weights just as much as he doesn’t want to pay for my love of craft bits! Despite this, we are more than happy to split any costs that we both share and of course indulge in the occasional treat.

For the past eight months we have been in constant debt to one-another! Owing each other money for ‘that food shop I did last week‘ or ‘those drinks I bought last night‘ has had its toll on us so we have decided to take the plunge and open a Joint Account – very grown up! Keeping track of who owes what and re-paying each other is one thing we are looking forward to getting rid of when we receive our shiny new debit cards next week!

We can’t wait to stop our running total of ‘who bought what’ and having to ask for bank transfers all the time!

Choosing the Right Joint Account

Believe it or not, there isn’t much out there in terms of rewards for those looking for a joint account. Joint accounts (excluding joint savings) are simply current accounts where both parties have access and visibility over the funds. The only real difference is that unless you are closing your personal account, you won’t gain any switching benefits that the account is offering.

With this mind, we decided to stick with the Halifax Reward scheme and open yet another account!. This provides £5 cashback at the end of each month providing you have 2 active direct debits and that you pay in over £700 per month. At the moment, we are going to be putting in £150 each into the account monthly to pay for food shopping, bills and joint leisure activities; we will therefore not gain the £5 cashback yet. However come June when we move out of shared accommodation (YAY!) we will be combining our rental costs and further bills which will then meet the criteria for the £5 reward.

Opening a Joint Bank Account

So here they are; my five simple steps to set up your first joint account:

1. Find a handsome man to split your costs withHandy and kind of essential for this one!

2. Decide on what the joint account will be used for Groceries? Rent? Bills? Clothes? You make the rules.

3. Decide on how much you will both deposit Use your budget to work out how much you will need. 

4. Do your research and find your bank accountLook for good reward scheme/interest rate.

5. Go to the bank and set up your account You will both need to be present at this occasion – don’t forget your ID!

How do you split your finances with your other half?

4 COMMENTS

  1. Always an interesting and potentially thorny subject this isn’t it? 🙂

    We have friends from all ends of the spectrum! Some friends that have been married for 5 years and together for well over 10 years are still in the “you’re on your own” camp, which I think is really quite ridiculous, but each to their own of course!

    We rock it with a straight up, all money in one pot joint account. There is no splitting of anything as such which I think every couple should always be looking to work towards, but this is obviously a big commitment from both parties and should not be undertaken without due caution.

    Setting up an account to split the bills and so on is definitely the way to go to start things off!

    We use the Santander 1,2,3 account, it pays some cashback when you pay your bills and the 3% interest rate up to £20k balances is fairly unrivalled at the moment!

    • Hi, thanks for having a read!

      I really don’t know any friends our age that have a joint account and split bills but for us it just makes perfect sense as its much less hassle. I’m not too sure how we feel yet about the ‘one big pot’ idea, but I can see there being pro’s and con’s! I guess when we have greater commitments one day it would be a good way to go, but for now I like to shop knowing I don’t need to feel guilty about spending Joe’s hard earned cash!
      We checked out the Santander 1,2,3 account back in January and it seems like a great account with the cash back on bills but we just don’t keep enough capital in this account to benefit from it! We worked out we would only be gaining around £1.50 after paying the £2 monthly fees – whereas with Halifax we will get a guaranteed £5 cash back each month with no bank fees!
      Fi

      • That is true about the 1,2,3 account, our council tax, gas and electricity cashback easily cover the account fee, and so any interest on top is all “profit”. I am tempted to do some real system playing and open up the Halifax account you speak of and just transfer £700 in and then back the next day every month as it sounds pretty good (presuming you are allowed to do this!), that would be £120 easy cash every year between myself and the wife! Doesn’t sound a lot but with that, 1,2,3 account cashback and interest, and cashback credit cards, it can easily add up to over £500 a year which could help towards a holiday or even pay for a shorter break away in total.

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