Redoing our Budget & Bank Accounts

Since my husband and I have been married, we’ve had “yours, mine and ours” bank accounts. This has worked well for us for quite some time.

One reason I wanted to keep some of our accounts separate is that I haven’t always been good at advocating for myself. For example, I was worried that if I wanted to buy something, I wouldn’t because I’d want to designate the money for what we both wanted or what my husband wanted. I also didn’t feel comfortable telling my husband I didn’t want him to spend money on certain things. I knew that if he were spending our shared money on things I don’t value as much, I’d get resentful.

Having a separate account for anything I wanted to buy helped me feel more free. His having a separate account for things he wanted to buy allowed me to let go of trying to control his spending. This is important because we both need our freedom to purchase things that make us happy.

Another reason we have had separate accounts is to be able to see what money is going where. It’s easy to see how much each of us is putting into the shared accounts instead of putting everything in the shared account and trying to separate out who put how much in there. My husband also runs his own business, so having his money separate helps with accounting.

The “ours” part of our bank accounts is what we call “family money” or a “family account.” We use this money for home expenses, food, taxes, insurance, and other things that pertain to daily living or our shared goals. When we wanted to designate our family money towards different goals, I’d often create a new bank account for that goal.

Having some separate accounts and some shared accounts, and putting money in different categories for different goals has increased the numbers of individual accounts we have to 16! I currently have 4 accounts, my husband has 5 accounts, and we have 7 shared accounts.

I’d like to start combining some accounts for a few reasons.

Over the years, some of the accounts have become duplicates. For example, my husband and I each have separate car funds. Another example is that we recently created a shared emergency fund, so my personal emergency fund is a duplicate. If I combine some of those, the accounts could be easier to keep track of.

I also want to see what my husband and I can do together to designate more money towards some goals we haven’t been able to meet—the main one being updating our house. I’m the one who wants to have updates made, so I created a separate personal account for that. At the same time, I have often prioritized other things before the house. I am hoping that after combining some accounts, I can find a way to put more money aside for house updates. In short, I’m enlisting my husband’s support towards this goal I’ve been struggling to achieve. And although he doesn’t care as much about updates, he wants me to be happy, so I know he’ll help. This is one way I am doing a better job advocating for myself, which makes combining accounts easier.

While I’m trying to “clean up” our duplicated accounts and possibly changing the purposes of some accounts, I also want to create a new shared or “family” budget. After finishing paying the mortgage off, through our shared account, I was hoping to have our usual mortgage payment, about $510 a month, go aside for house projects. I am sad–ok, a bit angry, to share that inflation has eaten up almost all, if not all of that money, each month. I can’t control the inflation, but I can help us figure out what money we can put where to help us meet our goals.

We also overspend on our budget because we need to designate more money for certain categories (such as our “life happens” category for appliances or other bigger purchases when something breaks down or our pets category—our senior dogs have needed more medical care than I anticipated). In short, I want to see what we can do to have that money in the budget for when it’s needed so we don’t have to dip into other accounts.

Finally, I am “cleaning up” the accounts because of how transfers work. We’ve had these accounts long enough that some of the transfers into our other accounts were made at the actual bank building. Because I couldn’t change the transfer amounts without going to the bank, I created new transfers online. As a result, we may have a $90 transfer going to an account, but then I wanted to transfer $150 total, so I’d have to do another monthly transfer of $60. If we go to the bank to delete the original transfers, we can do them all online, which, to me, makes the accounting cleaner.

Over the next month or so, I hope to have all this work done so that we are set with our budget and money designations for the next year.

Having enough money in the right places, having streamlined or “clean” accounts, and having fewer things to keep track of will likely bring me some more financial peace!

Peace Out (and In),


photos from “Sister Cities” Japanese garden




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