Now that Mint is shutting down, there are tons of articles being written about budgeting and wealth tracking apps and services. None of them work well for how my partner and I manage our split expenditures.
For example, you can only have one active Chase account connection– but what if I have a personal Chase card and we have join Chase cards with a different account? (we do).
There is no concept of “income” coming from contributions she makes to our joint accounts– they look like bank account transfers from accounts I don’t have access to, because they are.
There is no setting up as some expenses as shared versus individual, which is an important distinction in my own budgeting– this is what we agree to spend together on restaurants and groceries is not the same as some additional food-related expenses I have in my own budget to track.
Often, there is no great way to setup things like “this is a reimbursable work expense and that’s the reimbursement for that expense”.
I don’t think that my setup is all that unique.
Elsa and I have our income go into our personal accounts. We transfer a set amount of money to a join checking account each month. We use joint credit cards for joint expenses (and sometimes direct payments from our joint checking account). We have a modest joint savings and brokerage account. Separately, we each manage our own personal credit cards and finances made up of “whatever is left”. And because I travel for work and sometimes use my own cards, I have some expenses that are for work and reimbursed later (directly into my savings account).
A full picture of my wealth and expenses needs to understand this blending. I need to be able to construct a joint budget and a personal budget each month. I need to understand our joint assets and liabilities as shared, and my personal assets and liabilities as 100% on me.
Everything out there assumes fully integrated or fully segregated financials. This seems bonkers to me.
I’d build it myself, but honestly, we are pretty responsible with our money and the marginal value of budget or wealth tracking software is pretty modest in our lives. Still, it’s frustrating that so few applications seem to have a concept of family finances that seems obvious to me.