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How to Coordinate Family Expenses


How to Stay on Budget
Spend your money on activities that will enrich your child's life.
Spend your money on activities that will enrich your child's life.
Photodisc/Thinkstock

Once you've pounded out an effective budget, make sure everyone in the family is committed to following it. You can involve your kids by giving them allowances. How much you pay them in allowance is up to you, but be sure your children know what expenses they are and are not expected to pay.

Managing "fun money" between spouses can be a bit trickier. Many couples choose to have one bank account because it makes managing joint expenses easy. But then things get complicated when the wife wants to spend some of her own money on yoga classes and the husband wants to spend his on golf. For this reason, two individual accounts may seem appealing. But having two accounts is the least efficient way to manage joint expenses.

A good compromise is the three-account method. You'll have a joint account for shared expenses and individual accounts for each spouse's personal spending. No matter how you choose to organize your finances, communication is key to making your budget work. If both parents consult with one another about the family's finances, your budget and your marriage have much greater chances of success.