Many apps and bank services aim to help couples with shared finances. At Tiller, we think spreadsheets are the best tool for the job.
Spreadsheets are easy to share, accessible anywhere, allow tracking both individual and joint finances in one place, empower couples to track shared expenses without sharing accounts, and have the best options for categories, tagging, and reporting.
We’d love to know how you use spreadsheets to manage shared finances.
My husband and I have both our paychecks going into a joint checking account, and all family expenses and household expenses are paid out of that account. Then we each get a set amount of personal spending money for the month. He prefers that his go into his personal checking account, and then he uses his debit card or a specific credit card that is set up for autopay out of that account.
For me, since I am the one managing the Tiller Money spreadsheet anyway, I just use either our joint credit card for my spending items and assign to my personal spending category, or else use cash. We have agreed (sort of), on what expenses come out of our personal spending category (in my case going out to lunch or social events mostly). Joint expenses are everything related to the household and family, and routine personal expenses such as haircuts, toiletries, gym memberships, etc. So really, everything is pretty prescribed except for this category.
In addition, after years of going over (both of us) in the spending money categories, I added a, “other” category with $XX per month for each of us. It’s really overflow on the spending money category, but makes me feel better to know it’s there, and if we don’t spend it in a given month it can be reallocated. (I am really trying not to buy books and go to the library instead, but I am an impulse book-buyer!)
I am looking forward to hearing how others are handling their finances as a couple. Happy Valentine’s Day!
We track all our sinking funds in a google sheet. There is a chart that aggregates all transactions to give you a total amount in each fund and, on a month to month basis, how much we should transfer to or from our online savings account based on all transactions for the month.
I’ve built in excel a budget sheet, a latest estimate sheet, and a P&L that has both actual/ plan MTD and YTD all automated based on period changes. which I use to help guide our thinking if we overspend in certain categories and still need to hit our net operating profit for the year (savings rate). I use tiller data feed and added formulas to automate against our categories in each sheet. We will talk about it monthly unless I have coding questions. We also break out our paystubs each check (taxes by type, deductions, 401k, etc.) which helps during tax time for planning. We keep separate accounts and Venmo back and forth but we do have all the transactions together and see our results combined.
My Wife and I have all of our finances handled jointly through both a checking account and credit card. All income is imported into the joint checking account and tracked. All expenses possible are handle through our joint credit card then paid off in full every billing cycle. We each have our own rollover fun category that we manage each month where we can spend whatever we want with or save it for future months. The amount we each get per month is equal. It’s verbally discussed what is determined as personal fun money. We also have a mutual 'Entertainment" category budgeted that we use for outings together such as dates, sports events, restaurants etc.
I have managed our finances since we were married and have all our checking and credit cards import into tiller. I still use mint to track ALL accounts, but day to day spending is easier in tiller. At the beginning of this year I switched to the foundations template and truly set up a budget for us based on last years monthly spending. I categorize spending and income as it comes in. We use joint accounts for everything except we divert some of my wife’s paycheck to her personal account for her own spending. I manage my personal spending through our main accounts.
My wife doesn’t enjoy being in the details and just likes to know the overall picture. She looks at the forest and I like to look at each leaf. We each were comfortable in our own styles before so we never merged finances and kept our own accounts separate. What works for us is she will transfer a fixed amount to my account each month and I pay all the household bills. This allows me to track and analyze for the household and then give her an overview a couple times a year. We each save set amounts so whatever else she spends isnt being captured and its not shared expenses other than groceries and food.
We are a self employed family that homeschool our youngest child. My wife and I prefer to work off each other’s strengths. We input all our expenses (home/personal/business/homeschool-education) into a joint spread sheet along with our financial accounts. The spreadsheet allows us to see where we spend and where monies are appropriated so that we may adjust our spending habits as we plan towards our retirement and college. What works for us is that we maintain a fix amount for utilities/household expenses and set aside emergency funds as well. Mint allows me to see when the budget is working for us and helps me keep a great analysis of what is and isn’t working.
My wife and I both have our paychecks going into a joint account. I manage our Tiller sheet daily to categorize expenses and also have a sheet that lists the due dates of each bill we have along with the amount of each payment. I use Google Data Studio to pull data from my Tiller Sheets and have it set to email my wife and I at the beginning of each week to give us a summary of that week’s bills, spending habits over the past few weeks, and our current account balances. I’m currently working on a way to visualize our restaurant, coffee, and grocery/household supplies budgets while allowing for weekly adjustments based on the previous week’s spending.
We are a joint + separate household. We have a joint account for our household expenses, but have separate accounts for our “fun money”. Tiller is great for being able to look at everything in one place and to categorize things in a way that makes sense to me.
I am a spreadsheet person, and my husband is definitely not. So I tend to go in daily and categorize all our spending and make small adjustments, and then we meet monthly to check in on where we are and what is coming up.
This is a super fascinating thread! I remember Slate ran a series a few years back on families with merged finances versus separate finances … so interesting to see the wide range of possible approaches out there.
For us, we have fully merged finances … all income goes into a single joint account and all spending is paid for from that account. Most of our spending is on shared credit cards (which are fully paid off each month) and tracked through the transaction feed on Tiller. I manage all the financial analysis based on both my preference and my capabilities, including tracking spending by category, forward projections for full year spending, and monitoring the overall budget. My partner has zero interest in knowing the details, so I usually just tell him verbally stuff like “we should stop going out to eat so often” and leave it at that.
My wife and I have completely shared finances. She works pretty minimal hours outside of the home (Being a mom is full time!), so her income goes straight into our emergency fund savings account. I take care of all the bills and financial tracking, but we communicate about how things are going financially every couple of weeks. My wife’s main financial responsibility is “turning in” receipts for the things she gets for our family so that I can make better category designations and ensure no fraudulent expenses are showing up.
Nothing super complicated, but it works well for us. At our wedding we vowed to live as one “til death do us part”, so why not treat our finances as one?!
We are have completely shared checking accounts, individual CCs. Pay off the CCs in full at the end of each month. I work while my husband goes to nursing school. I handle all the details and update Tiller, then we review at the end of each month. I’m much more into our finances. I also do a “State of the Union” powerpoint presentation at the end of each year where I review our achievements (removing an article of clothing for each success we’ve had), show fun pictures of what we’ve done for the year, review our expected time until we reach each individual financial goals, and our hopes for the upcoming year. He loves the State of the Union address.
Thank you everyone who shared your workflow above! We have selected and notified the recipients of the Amazon gift cards. It’s both fascinating and helpful to see how other people manage money in their relationships. Perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Also, I realized I never shared my workflow. It’s simple (no pun intended) because my fiancée and I use Simple accounts for our primary individual checking accounts, both linked to a shared Simple account. This makes managing cashflow for our shared bills and household shopping very easy. Simple also works perfectly with Tiller Money Feeds. When we have a big planned expense, like a vacation or camp for her kids, we use that checking account to save and hold the funds. Easy visibility. Other than that, we don’t stay on top of the other’s spending. Mysterious Amazon boxes show up for each of us every week.