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 with – Handy 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 account – Look 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?