It's the end of an era! In the nearly six years that Chris and I have been managing our finances together we've maintained several joint and separate accounts. As we've been re-examining our finances as we get serious about reducing debt we've questioned the need for so many accounts. You can read about our former bank account set up here.
Ultimately, we decided to simplify and we now maintain the following:
+ Joint checking account. All of our bills, including our student loan payments, are auto-debited from this account. Previously we had our student loan payments debited from our separate savings accounts. We also used to individually pay for our car and life insurance policies, which have since combined.
+ Joint savings account. We've collapsed three savings accounts into one. We are no longer keeping a separate long-term "emergency savings" account, short-term savings account, and a Dashiell/daycare savings account (we have a separate investment account to save for Dashiell's college tuition). We plan to maintain a minimum of $5,000 in this account for peace of mind.
+ Separate personal savings accounts. Chris and I are each keeping a personal savings account. We have cut back our entertainment monthly spending and we can each use our personal savings if we decide we want to spend more than our entertainment allowance. We'll also save for travel using these accounts (both separate and family travel), I'm using my personal savings to pay for my business endeavors like expenses associated with podcasting and my e-course, and Chris uses his savings for summertime salary since he's on a nine month contract as a professor.
+ Separate credit cards. In addition to these bank accounts Chris and I each have our own separate credit cards. I'm keeping my Southwest Visa credit card, which I use so that I can earn points for Southwest airline travel, and Chris uses a Chase Sapphire Visa which also accumulates points that can be used for travel or other redemptions. These help us to continue to maintain excellent credit, but we always pay our full balance (if any) each month.
It's thrown me off when I check my bank accounts online and only see three accounts on the screen instead of six. And now when I make purchases I do have this little hesitation knowing that Chris will see the purchases even though it's nothing I'm ashamed to buy! Isn't that funny? But overall we really like this simplification and we aren't missing the four accounts that we closed.