So I’ve been playing around w/ different ways to handle our “house” stuff quite a bit lately, and while i’m still not all the way there, I think I’m getting close to figuring it all out! Here are the 3 methods we’ve tried out so far, including our current one:
Method #1 –> Split everything up, and pay separately. We originally divided up our rent, utilities, groceries, etc. and paid from our own accounts. While it worked for a while, it eventually got old and took too much time determining who owed, and paid, what.
Method #2 –> Using our Heloc as our “house account”. We deposited/paid off our HELOC account w/ every dollar earned, then wrote checks from it to pay all the bills. It saved us $100/mo, but it unfortunately backfired when the market went down, and our “deposited money” was frozen :(
Current & Simplest Method –> Opening up separate Checking and Savings accounts. We spent 15 mins. over the phone opening them up w/ USAA ( now making a grand total of 12 accounts w/ them!), and started depositing all “house” money into them. Checking covers all mortgages, bills, groceries, etc., and savings will be used for whatever we wish for at the time. It is currently set as our “wedding fund”.
And, of course, I have a budget for this! I mean, you ARE at budgetsaresexy.com aren’t you? haha … Here is how our House Budget breaks down:
1st Mortgage: 30 year fixed, interest-only.
2nd Mortgage (Heloc): We still budget at this original amount (it’s since dropped down to $280!!!), and we apply the difference to our store cards and the savings account.
Credit Card: House: Covers our cable bill & all groceries.
Savings Account: To be used for whatever we wish. Currently set as our “Wedding Fund”.
Home Owners: Association fees that cover the lawns, pools, trash pick up, etc. in our neighborhood.
Electric Bill: keeps our lights on ;)
Water Bill*: This is a quarterly charge of around $75. I broke it down into 3 payments of $25 each/mo. so we can budget it in.
Store Credit Cards: We’re slowly paying them off! Covers our new iMac, and the wedding rings, and are at 0% interest.
As you can see, splitting out “House” stuff will be MUCH easier now that everything is separated and accounted for. Each time I get a paycheck now, I check my personal budget and xfer over the allocated amounts into the right account.
Easy peasy … at least for now ;)