Joint checking for my pay, her own checking for her pay
I apologize if this post is a topic already here on TAM. I did a search before posting and did not find a post that addressed my situation.
Here is my situation:
1. My wife has been working full time for just a little over a year. When she started her job, she opened a checking account separate from our joint checking account and has been depositing it in that account.
2. My wife did not consult with me before opening her own checking account.
3. My pay has always been deposited in our joint account since we were married 23 years ago. I have never had an account that is mine only.
4. All of our bills are paid from the joint checking account except for one. My wife bought a car last March and is paying the car payment from her account. In the past year, she has paid off a $300 pediatrician's bill. She does not buy groceries on a regular basis, but uses the joint account when she does.
5. My wife does not keep track of her money. When she runs out of money, she spends from the joint account.
6. I get paid twice a month. The last paycheck of the month pays mortgage, utilities, car insurance. The paycheck in the middle of the month pays my car payment, credit cards, miscellaneous bills, cell phones for my wife and two kids, etc.... I rarely have extra money.
7. She will occasionally transfer small amounts of money to the joint account.
I just got paid last Thursday. After bills were paid, I had about $300 left. That has to last me until the 15th.. and I have to pay our daughter's college tuition with that paycheck also. I told my wife that the joint account could not be touched. As of tonight, there is $25 left in the joint account.
I need to do something, whether it is to close the joint account and open my own account or whether it is to insist that she start sharing her paycheck by depositing it in our joint account. That makes more sense to me as we should be able to better manage our money if it is shared.
I know some couples do well without a joint account. Some do well with all their money going to a joint account. The couples I know that do not have a joint account usually also share paying the bills.