We have a number of bank accounts and all bar one we miss manage with regular abandon. The bank account we don’t miss manage is the one that we can’t set up direct debits or standing orders. Its those things that have done a lot to help bugger up our money management.
It should be that we have one account and one account only we we manage our bill payments from. Historically, we had a bit of an anarchy strategy over who pays what from what account. For example, if it was my phone or my credit card it came from my account. The same in regard to the utilities, we never really organised who was the primary caregiver to the utility bills.
Also we’ve applied a slash and burn approach to each others bank accounts, diving in and taking money from each other when we needed the cash infusion. DW inherited this mindset, from her arsehole DPs’ (DP Dear Parents, that’s gonna show up badly in search engines isn’t it). Her mother is/was a basket case when it came to having a sensible approach to money. I can remember the first time DW and I got a taxi when she was paying for it. DW slipped me the money and I went “eh! whats this for” DW then explained that because her mother was so “posh”, she couldn’t be seen to handing over money (the cow MIL could use a credit or store card with abandon, ‘cos it ain’t real mo-nay).
Since then DW has realised that the MIL isn’t posh in the sense of “port outbound, starboard home” for the Mother-In-Law it stands for “pissed-up obnoxious shit head”.
It’s quite sad the behaviours and perspectives parents can fill their children’s heads with. Poor old DW never had a good role model for handling finances. Her dad was a stereotypical tightwad with cash when it comes to family, but lavishes it on himself and his “lifestyle”. For g-ds sake you should see the dreadful Ralph Lauren golfing ensemble he once wore, yellow and pink window pane check trousers, with a lime green shirt. The In-Laws used to criticise my clothing because I wear a lot of khaki – “oooo! your so beige” that may be so but I don’t look like an ancient twat at London fashion week.
Anyway back to organising the bank accounts, I think we select one account and one account only for all future payments and keep an extra 35% over the monthly bill payments in it at a buffer.