Manage Joint Finances Using A Whiteboard

I'm guessing that a whiteboard is a little low-tech for most of our readers, but if you're a couple learning to manage your finances jointly it can help to have an in-your-face visual reminder of your monthly flow of money.

Personal finance weblog Man Vs Debt recommends using a whiteboard rather than a spreadsheet as it keeps everything out in the open. Financial problems are a major cause of relationship stress and if you don't have a good system worked out yet listing everything on the board gives you a tangible start point to see how money flows into and out of your life.

You can also quickly make any necessary changes as you work through your monthly budget. Man Vs Debt also recommends combining the whiteboard approach with weekly financial "State of the Union" meetings.

The system is a bit of an oversimplification, but if you're starting from scratch and want to take control of your debts or your spending habits you can do a lot worse for your first plan of attack.

1 Simple Tool to Change How You Budget as a Couple [Man Vs Debt]


    How we work it out:
    I get paid weekly, so the mortgage comes direct from my account, as does phone, internet, electricity bills.
    She gets paid fortnightly, and is used for food, savings, credit card repayments, extra on mortgage etc.

    I never understand why couples who have been together a while still have 'my money' 'your money' and take loans from each other, to me doesn't make sense!

      Same system, except we're both paid fortnightly. That being said, if money is tight this is a good system for budgeting together for expenses regardless of which account they come from. ("You really have to spend that much on your hair?" "Yes I do." etc)

    I share a house with 2 other people, and we share food, internet, electricity, gas and other "house" costs equally (rent is paid separately). We do this by writing down on a white board what we've spent for these items, and when the list reaches the bottom, add up the total, subtract the smallest amount and start again.

    When it comes to deciding who should pay what, we just look at who's the most behind in total.

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