What Counts?

...as a joint expense?

As you know, Jordan and I are in the process of merging our financial-selves into a joint, more organized unit.  We got into a discussion this past weekend, with my mom, about what counts as a joint expenses.  The list we have so far, is by no means exhaustive.  As Jordan said, somethings will be decided as they come up - that said, here's what we have so far:

  • Beer
  • Movies (renting or the theater)
  • Eating out
  • Camping Trips
  • Joint Hobbies (or trying new hobbies)
  • Pets (currently we maintain two fish tanks, but we will eventually have a dog too)
  • Vehicle maintenance (includes windshield wipers, oil changes etc.)
  • Gardening (tools, seeds etc)
  • All things holiday decor (halloween, vday etc).
Our current monthly budget for all of these things is $500.

...as a personal expense? 

Jordan and I will each get $100/week for our personal expenses.  Personal expenses are just that, personal.  They include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
  • Personal hobbies
  • Lunches at work 
  • Clothes
  • Glasses (for me)
  • Gifts for each other
  • World of Warcraft subscription
  • Ancestry.com subscription


  1. I have a few thoughts/comments/questions. Personally, I consider things like glasses to be a medical expense. They are required for your life. If Jordan was a diabetic wouldn't you help with the medical expenses?

    For joint stuff, I noticed you had beer listed. I wouldn't have thought that would be joint. No real reason. Just surprised me.

    Otherwise, the list looks pretty similar to what we do. I think you are off to a great start

  2. I guess that you will just have to live with your allowances for a bit, and see if/how they work. I still think you may be a little short for work clothes. But that could be addressed when your S/L is paid off.

  3. @ Financial - thank you so much for your thoughts! We struggled with the glasses bit - because they are mostly covered by our insurances... I think we may have to wait and see on that a bit.

    It's funny that Beer was on the top of the list - I think it's because we had just bought a case when we got in from our camping trip. If alcohol is for the house then it's a joint expense. If either of us going out for a social work drink - or wants to go drink with the 'gals' or 'guys' that would be personal.

    @ mom - I think you may be right - but it's tough to say right now. I'm not exactly sure where the $$ would come from for clothes.

    Once we've lived in this budget for a while, it may be easier to identify where to make adjustments.

  4. I would say anything that all household and grocery expenses are joint, even if it's food that only you or he eats. Beyond that, anything that benefits both of you or you do together is a joint expense. You might find that medical expenses, like @Financial says above, will or should be put into the joint pot because they can be such a large expense and really being together is about taking care of each other.


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