Everyone has different ideas about money. Some people are really good with it. Some aren’t. I won’t lie, when I met my partner he was in the “not” category. But don’t worry, I whipped him into shape. Now we’re a good balance, because I’m mostly a “saver” and he’s mostly a “spender”.
Finances are really tricky, because they never go away (though I suppose if you made enough money, the problems would) and because they can be tied to how good of a relationship you have. We’ve done really well to set goals for making big purchases, and are only in student loan debt. Don’t get me wrong though – we’re working toward getting rid of those!
One of the things that is really helpful for us is the sort of structure we have to our bank account. We have one savings account, and a “main” checking account. All of the money goes into the main account, and we pay for all the combined expenses out of there – bills, groceries, and if we go out to eat together. Then we each have our own account that is linked to that main account, so that we can transfer money into the “personal” accounts.
Our personal accounts are exactly that – we can spend the money on whatever. If he goes to eat lunch with a friend, or if I want to buy some random thing in a store. We both get the same amount of money each month, so it keeps it fair. Sometimes we discuss which account things come out – for example if I just want to buy a tshirt, it would come out of my personal, but if I were to buy work clothes they would come out of the main.
This system works well for us (and I think would work well for a lot of people) because it’s fair and you still have a little control. We aren’t feeling like one of is getting more, or spending more on frivolous things.
I’m also considering splitting up our savings account also. We haven’t needed to, but maybe an emergency savings, and another for travel, or whatever we need. But that’s a recent development – we’ll see where it goes!