How to save money (and still buy hokey pokey)

I bumped into a client of mine at the supermarket last week. It was 8pm and I was there for one thing, and one thing only…

Ice Cream!

I looked across the aisle at Paul’s trolley. It was overflowing with food… It looked like he was shopping to outlast an apocalypse! I had to ask, what was all this food for?

“We’re down to one shop a month,” he said, “after you showed us how a joint account will save us tons of wasted money - we decided to look a little deeper into our spending and see what else we could do to help stem the wastage… one of those places was here at Countdown.”

He went on, “We decided to limit our visits here to one big shop a month and one small shop a week”

And then the kicker, “We calculated that we save $70 a week by not buying extra food that we have to throw out!”

I was amazed… amazed that Paul and his partner Trudy had taken my advice when they bought their first home last year and moved in together. And then took my advice to the next level!

One of the biggest gains a couple who buy a house can make is by joining their bank accounts together.

However, it is not as simple as that. There are a few key things to set up first:

The Main Joint Account

All of your joint income should go into this account. Think of it like a dam full of money. Your money starts here and it’s up to you where it flows next!

Your mortgage, household bills, food and any other general expenses should be paid out of this account.

A Joint Savings account

Any savings should be transferred into a joint savings account or your revolving credit.

This stops any ‘cash leakage’ that you might get from cross over-spending. This is where you both pay for something that is essentially the same thing. The most common instance is when two people have contents insurance when they move in together, costing $80-$120 per month.

Now that you’re living together - just get the one policy and stop paying double.

A ‘GoCrazy’ Transactional Account Each

Along with the joint accounts, you need to have a separate spending account for each person. I call this your ‘GoCrazy’ account.

The GoCrazy is for everybody’s sanity. You deposit an amount in this account every payday and you can use this money for anything. It’s key that your partner has no control over this account.

Pro tip: Set up the account so you and your partner’s can’t see each other’s accounts through mobile or internet banking.

When my wife and I combined our bank accounts - we didn’t have GoCrazy accounts and it would drive her nuts that I bought lunch every day. She would check the bank account at 1pm to see if I had bought lunch and my phone would soon vibrate with an angry text. I was working at the time and she was a student, so you can imagine my retort.

My wife changed her outlook one day. She suggested that we have separate spending accounts and be allocated an amount each week to spend however we wanted.

BEST.IDEA.EVER

The daily spending argument stopped and our bank account system was born.

At the store, I left Paul to finish up in the frozen goods and grabbed my hokey pokey. I headed on home, safe in the knowledge that my wife would have no idea that I’d eaten a whole tub by the time she arrived thanks to my GoCrazy account.

Save money (and keep feeding your guilty pleasures) with this joint account banking system. Winning!  

For more account saving ideas, check out our emergency fund article.