Budgeting As A Couple With Fun Money Accounts

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Jillian walks you through a simple solution that can eliminate arguments when budgeting as a couple; the fun money account.

Simplify Your Finances As A Couple

When Jillian and her husband first got together they never seemed to be on the same page when it came to finances. Arguments ensued, but they found the solution.

In an effort to save both our sanity and the budget we set up fun money accounts.

Anything that is personal or a want (not a need) comes from the fun money account. Budget categories like magazines, trips, and personal care can all go into one bucket–the fun money account.  Budget categories are eliminated and there is money for things that each partner values.

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The Skinny On Fun Money Accounts

Setting up a fun money account is simple. Here is how Jillian and her husband did it:

  1. They opened individual checking accounts. Each came with its own debit card.
  2. Together they decided on a fair amount to deposit into the checking accounts every month.
  3. The money could be used however they wanted. No questions asked. More importantly, no judgment from the other person.

This is something Jillian and her husband still do 15 years later. She typically has $2,000 in her account and he has about $200.

The Nitty-Gritty On Fun Money Accounts

What if you don’t spend all the money? Or you want to spend it all every month?

If you don’t spend your own fun money, then it stays right there for the next month. No penalties or withdraws from the other partner.

Each person in a relationship is also an individual and these accounts give room for that autonomy. This eliminates resentment that can accumulate when one partner uses the entire entertainment budget. That’s not even an issue with the fun money account.

Pro Tips For Making The Fun Money Account Work Long Term

Jillian has some tips that make sure this is a successful change in how you do finances.

  1. Someone will need a bonus at some point. Be open to a few hundred dollars for a “bonus” in specific situations.
  2. Set up the rules however you want to, but be sure to talk about it. Will alcohol be in the grocery category or fun money? You decide together.
  3. No nagging or judgment. Ever. Each of you can blow your money on whatever you want.
  4. The fun money account deposit each month might change over time.

Following these tips has made using a fun money account transformative for Jillian and her husband.

This Still Works If You’re A Single Pringle

Even if you’re not coupled up, having a fun money account can work the same way. Simplify your budget categories and give yourself a decided budget for spending on things that aren’t essential.

If I get a great deal on something, I get to keep that money.

You can also find ways to stretch this fun money. Look for coupons to save at the salon. Or you could be brave like Jillian and learn to cut your own hair by watching YouTube. Now that she does this, more money stays in the fun money account. An undisguised lesson in frugality.

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Disclosures.
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