Splitting Shared Childcare Expenses with Separated Parents

I found this thread while searching for a recommended way for split parents to manage shared child expenses. We have a shared bank account for our childs expenses, but we run into the problem of rarely having enough funds there, so in-the-moment transfers are then called for and inconvenient. We do not have a shared credit card for child expenses, but individually have rewards credit cards we like to use. We are both bad with accounting and I am just starting to work through getting Tiller to automate my financial life with rental properties, amazon transactions for various purposes, and our shared child expenses. It sounds like the new “Split Transaction Workflow” might be the way for us to manage shared child expense. Please recommend the best scenario for two split parents to manage such a situation. We are happy to make changes as far as bank accounts, credit cards, etc, but looking for a way for the accounting inept to make this as easy as possible. It I should just post a new topic for this, I can do that. Thanks!

Hi @kaizengrit,

I think this is really going to depend on how the transactions are flowing in and the logistics.

In a scenario where you’re using the shared account does that transaction need to split?
If it’s on a personal credit card does that transaction need to be split?

Basically, what types of transactions and from which accounts do you actually need to split them?

The Split Transactions workflow in the Tiller Money Feeds add-on will let you split any transaction in your Transactions sheet, so I think the question is just what types of transactions need splitting and when.

Is the goal to figure out how much you (or the other parent) owes the other each month?

I am also looking for a way to track a joint co-parenting account. In my case, my ex and I still have a joint checking account that we use for child expenses. I’d like to track it in Tiller, but not add the full amount to my balances. Is this possible? Would it work best to create a second spreadsheet in the Tiller Console and track it separately?

I also have some kid expenses that are half reimbursable (joint expenses that I couldn’t use the joint account to pay) so I’ve created a category so I can at least easily find those to transfer to another spreadsheet we’re using to settle up quarterly.

It would be interesting to see some good tools developed specifically for divorced/separated parents although I suppose some of the same tools could be useful for other scenarios with shared expenses (for example, roommates, couples with a joint account for shared expenses, sharing expenses with a kid in college, etc.). My shared-expense scenario will stretch out for many years.

:wave: welcome @colette.phs

If you don’t want to see the balance of the shared account showing on your Balances sheet you can just mark it as “hide” on the Accounts sheet.

This help guide is for Google sheets but the basics apply to Excel as well except the Accounts sheet is not hidden in the Excel version of the template

Or a totally separate spreadsheet also works. It just depends on whether you need to see your part of the expenses in your day to day budget as well. If you do (I’m guessing yes) then you probably want it all in one sheet.

In which case it probably makes sense to use the Split Transaction tool in the Tiller Money Feeds add-on for Google Sheets.

You could use the Saved Splits feature and rather than putting a specific dollar amount, just put in 50% and use the saved split on all your transactions and have one category be “My child expense” and then “their child expense” (for the side that will get reimbursed). Then only your side is showing up in your budget/actual expenses. Or something along those lines.

Hopefully that makes sense!