A Tricky Joint Account
Ed is getting married and going to open a joint checking account. Keeping a check register is difficult since Ed travels two weeks a month. Should they just rely on the online access to the account?
QUESTION: Ed in Pennsylvania is getting married, and they’re going to open a joint checking account. Keeping a check register for them is difficult since Ed travels two weeks a month. Does Dave have any suggestions for that or just rely on the online access to the account?
ANSWER: I would set up a separate checking account for travel only that is funded, and that both of you have access to so she can see everything that happens in the travel account. You put money in there just for travel time. That way you aren’t both out there doing transactions and trying to keep the account from running into overdraft.
When you are on the road, you are living out of the travel account. The household operates out of the household operating account. I would have a separate account for that, but it’s not separate checking accounts. It’s a checking account for a separate purpose.
For example, several years ago we were remodeling the home we were living in. We set up a remodeling account by opening another checking account and putting the remodeling money in there. It was easier to keep it running separately like that, but we were both involved in both accounts. It was not a his-and-hers arrangement. It was just for keeping the activities separated.