Funny you should bring this up.
My husband and I have separate checking accounts. This occured after a few months of my frustration over trying to reconcile our checking account, pay bills, etc. while he was using his debit card and not giving me the receipts. He got his own checking account and a few bills to be responsible for, and we were both happy. Until…
We are both set up in Microsoft Money, which makes it very easy to keep a running balance. I usually enter all my receipts / pay bills once a week, when I get paid. Looking at the list of accounts, it is clear to me that Mr. V hasn’t been balancing his account. When I bring it up, he assures me he is on top of it, just behind in entering receipts in Money, but he knows what he has. Fine.
A few months ago we bought a house, and I set up a savings account that we put money into every week (auto transfer) so we have money to pay our property taxes, which are not part of our mortgage payment. Summer taxes, due in June, we estimate to be a little over $1.000.00. Microsoft Money tells me by now we have more than enough. Great.
Mr. V and I get separate bank statements, but from the outside you cannot tell which is which. I opened his statement by accident for April, and promptly had a coronary. You see…
Mr V’s checking account is linked to this savings account (which I was not aware of). If he overdrafts his checking account, it takes money from: first his regular savings, then from this account. Mr V has been grossly overestimating his financial situation. Mr. V’s “running total in his head” was off. Way off.
Over the course of a month and a half, Mr. V has managed to deplete our entire tax savings account. It. Is. All. Gone. To what? I gathered all his receipts and entered them for him. $20.00 here, $50.00 there. Overdraft, overdraft, overdraft.
After a thorough “discussion” when he got home, he is sincerely ashamed and penitent. Mr. V. now balances his checking account. Every day. Tax savings account is no longer his overdraft backup.
I should have married an accountant.