I recently got married and we’re trying to figure out how to best take care of our finances.
So far I’ve earned more than my wife. She transfered me a sum every month for our fixed costs (in relation to how much she earned compared to me, so 1/4, 1/3 and so on - we set it yearly or so).
Now that we’re married we thought about opening a joint account, but most of them have fees which I’m really not keen on paying!
I thought about:
I keep my Neon account as my main account. She opens a Neon account to as her main account or keeps her current cantonal one. I’d prefer her using Neon too but oh well.
We both open a ZAK account in my name and transfer money there to cover our fixed expenses.
We both use the same credit card in my name (and an additional one that she uses).
What I don’t like about this is: In case something happens to me, the ZAK account would be frozen and most likely she wouldn’t be able to use the credit card either! This means we’d have to have an emergency stash in her name that we’re not able to invest with. Which sucks! @_MP How do you deal with that in your setup with ZAK?
At the moment it seems like there’s no way to circumvent all of this wihtou paying fees. What’s your setup?
Something you could do is to have her also pay some fixed costs (for ex. groceries or taxes), where you pass her 3/4 or 2/3 of the sum.
Because I find it important for both parties having to meet some kind of bills, in order to get a feeling of how much life actually costs.
Im pretty sure we will be doing it this way once we become a double income household, because we also want to avoid the extra fees of a joint account.
I got a similar setup without joint account.
My wife contribute to our fix cost (rent, flat insurance, internet …) by a monthly wire transfer. I calculate her % contribution based on our net income.
We update her participation annually or after a raise.
For all the flexible spendings (groceries, restaurant, furnitures ), we use the Certo1 Cembra credit card that we split 50/50 monthly. We alternate this payment in a Tricount file and balance it annually.
We do not track any cash payment or foreign vacation spendings.
NB: at the beginning of our relationship, I was tracking every spendings but she dislikes it a lot and the fairness of this work was killed by the sensation she was « in a debt toward me ». Setting up a regular fix payment and a credit card remove all our money arguments.
I like it. Simplicity trumps perfection.
My question is where to divide between % contribution and 50/50 split.
IMO things like health insurance and mobile phone contract are personal and should be managed by each on their own.
Groceries, restaurant or furnitures, that are for both parties Im not so sure whether it would be fair to split it in half, especially if the difference in net salaries is substantial (60+% on one side).
Obviously if both are fine with it, there is nothing wrong with that.
I’m in the same boat. I use Neon, wife is with cantonal bank. We use Splitwise to track payments, and most are recurring. This greatly reduces the number of transfers we make between ourselves since if we make a new “big” purchase (ikea, whatever) one of us pays the difference on the ongoing monthly balance. We don’t track cash spending, but those are small. I loathe adding up monthly grocery bills so we are thinking to open a shared credit card for that. I didn’t think it’d be so difficult! It boggles my mind that in 2023(nearly!) none of the banks offer a simple, cheap or free joint account. I’ve written to Neon, but I don’t get the feeling it’s on their roadmap.
Each of us has his own bank account, which we use to pay personal stuff like e.g. presents for each other or an expensive purse that my wife really wants but doesn’t need or a cool electronic gadget that we don’t really need (I need it of course ).
Then we have 1 joint account at a cantonal bank, where each of us transfers money to each month according to our respective share of the total salary. From this account we pay all bills and taxes. We try to use the Certo Cembra credit card whenever possible and also pay it back from the joint account.
I still track all of our expenses expect the personal ones of my wife.
When I die, the only thing that woul happen is that they’d probably reduce the limit of the credit card. My personal account doesn’t really matter as I don’t have more than CHF 500.- at a time, everything is either transferred to IB, 3rd pillar or our joint account.
As I stated elsewhere I don’t have an emergency fund anymore as I use margin loans at IB for this. My wife still has a good amount of cash on her bank account, so that’s also nothing to worry about in case of my death.
We do not track cash expenditure. We use it only at a farmer market and we try to alternate every week. I do not account it as it is minimal compare to our monthly spending.
Everything that has an annual subscription related to our flat or child will fall under % contribution.
Phone and health insurance are personal. We pay Assura the whole annual payment as we got individual invoice even if we have a family account.
We are expecting a child end of February and I will include the annual health insurance or kindergarten in our % contribution.
The only pitfall is all yearly subscription are taken from my personal account.
If something happen to me , my wife will have to wire a monthly payment to my account until she’ll take over.
I use a gmail alias with a + for all our common accounts so she is receiving all bills and annual subscription renewal for flat, internet, flat insurance electricity …. I just manage it as she is not an admin person but when the time come she can dig into it.
Nothing beats the traceability and ease of use of a joint account, especially if there is any (future) disagreement.
We use UBS, one-click instant transfer between accounts for unexpected expenses, and monthly transfer for ALL planned common expenses, prorated or otherwise. Anything that doesn’t benefit both and approved by both is considered a personal expense.
The contributions for joint expenses is generally 50/50, and is based on usage, not on earnings (e.g. if I have an extra room, I pay the extra rent and expenses based on sqm). But this is made easier by the fact that we have similar income.
We have different savings ratios or rather spending attitudes and it’s fair that one takes responsibility for their spending and savings with their own money, IMHO.
Edit: to add, we use a shared Gmail account for subscription and other things (e.g. apps logins) that are for both. We use a prepaid Wise account on my name for online subscriptions and abroad purchases but it is used only for shared expenses and as such is funded only from the joint account.
I believe distributing the different payments between the two people and then having one transaction per month from one to the other to balance out the difference, beats the ease and cost of a joint account.
Hopefully I am not missing something…
It depends, mostly she pays it herself, but from time to time I jump over my mustachian shadow and make her a nice gift
In the end of the day I pay most of the stuff, even more than my share of the income would suggest, but she is taking care of our baby while I’m at work, and there is no amount of money that can balance that out for me personally.
Thanks all for the info. Just a question to those who tend to separate accounts and/or fund common expenses by a certain percentage etc. is this worth the hassle? I mean at the end of the day a married couple is Vis a Vis the state seen as one bucket right? In the unfortunate scenario that I divorce with my wife, all savings generated following our marriage will most likely be split irrespective on the account that are held, right?. So what is the point keeping individual accounts, individual savings etc?
For us it is more a psychological thing, that each has his own “fun” money and as I mentioned above, this way I can buy a gift for my wife without her seeing where I bought it and ruining the surprise effect.