Call me crazy, but I think being aligned with money is possible with separate bank accounts. But, ultimately, it comes down to what works best for you and your family.
The bottom line, do what works best for your family. If there are trust issues, or if one partner is a big spender and needs some accountability, then, by all means, go for joint accounts. This is not a recommendation against a joint bank account; it’s simply an alternative to the status quo. I believe a couple can be united financially while having separate accounts.
1) We are not allowed to take on significant credit card debt. In addition to our bank account, we also have our credit cards. It’s not uncommon for either of us to carry a small balance that usually gets paid off within a month.
2) Even though we have our own accounts, we still discuss significant purchases. We do not have an exact threshold, but it usually ends with anything about $200 or $300. 3) We let each other know when money is tight. At least once a month, one of us asks the other how we’re doing with our money. We’ve grown to just kind of know when one is in better shape than the other.
A quick summary of the anti-budget is that you immediately save, give, and then pay all bills after getting paid. Whatever is left is yours to spend on whatever you want. It’s budgeting in reverse, but at a higher level. Here is our process:
The first step in our process was to write down all of our regular expenses. This included mortgage, student loan payments, internet, groceries, gasoline, day, and anything else that we paid for regularly. We did not have entertainment, going out to eat, or other random expenses.