As a couple, Mrs YFG and I share many things, including a love of wine, carbohydrates and our bed.
What we do not do, and will never do, is pool our finances. We do not have a joint account (other than our joint mortgage). We pay for things separately and have separate credit cards. This is not because we don’t view money as a joint thing- quite the opposite, we just trust and respect that we have our separate shit to deal with. We are open and transparent with our finances, we just see no added value in pooling them.
To summarise how we work it:
- Mrs YFG receives her salary into her own account, saves half and then does her own spending, some of which are for us and some things are for her.
- I spend out of my current account as and when needed, and my passive income accumulates in other accounts.
- At the end of every month we regurgitate all our transactions and add up our expenses. The shared expenses (mortgage, council tax, food) are all split equally. I have a fancy pants spreadsheet for this.
- Yes, this means that we both see what each other has spent each month – no secrets here. We will have a glass of wine and do the spreadsheet which is a fun evening for me, not so for Mrs YFG when I see her credit card statement.
- Once everything is totalled, Mrs YFG pays me half of the shared expenses so we are even.
Some people think this is weird, what’s mine is yours, right? But we have always lived as equals and know we are in it together. It’s irrelevant who pays the bill.
Separating our savings and finances allows us to separately track our paths to FI.
So are you both at FI then?
I’ve reached FI. Mrs YFG hasn’t reached it yet, but as a couple we are almost there.
Mrs YFG had a different relationship with money growing up and she had more years of unpaid study before she was earning. She also, by her own admission, spends more than me. She values material goods (like clothing and cosmetics) in a way I do not, so naturally she isn’t as frugal.
We have the same shared disdain for fancy cars, houses and holidays, but in some respects she is not as anti-capitalist as I am.
- Track your expenses and spending. This can be done on an app (Monefy or similar) or manually on a spreadsheet.
- Be honest about what you are spending to your partner and, more importantly, why. If it is to try and make yourself feel better it won’t help.
- Pay off credit cards in full by direct debit every month.
We pay our own credit card bills in full every month by direct debit. Mrs YFG likes to pay for house stuff on her credit card for things because (a) she can remember the details by heart; (b) she gets the points on her card; and (c) she has a bigger credit limit