Author Topic: Mustachian grocery bill for month? Also question about sharing an account...  (Read 5989 times)

carozy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 428
  • Location: San Francisco
Please let me know what you spend on average each month altogether and per person.

My girlfriend and I have talked about budgeting for groceries (there are 3 of us - her, me, her 6 y.o. son who she has part time).  She is not Mustachian but not a total spendthrift either.  I am wondering how much a Mustachian family would budget for groceries.  (I eat mostly vegan, sometimes vegetarian, which I know is cheaper than buying meat.)  We do belong to Costco also.

Also, if it matters, I do use YNAB, not her.  However I tend to use it as a tracking expenses thing rather than budgeting and than keeping in budget (but trying to change that, hence this question).

The other question I have is about sharing an account.  She brought up sharing an account to purchase shared expenses (rent, utilities, groceries, stuff for the house).  What are your thoughts on this?  We aren't married and I had always been taught (Dave Ramsey) not to have a shared account unless you're married.  I am also thinking that I don't want to just through in my budget for groceries (let's say it's $200) and then have it all spent on groceries when if I kept it separate, I might buy less and put some of the money elsewhere.  What are your thoughts, as Mustachians?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 05:41:20 PM by carozy »

Tester

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 404
I won't go into the amount because I am also trying to cut the food budget.
Unfortunately some health problems prevent me from eating what I want so I have to eat what I can.

I would say first sort the sharing part - decide if you want to be a long term relationship with you SO.

I can tell you how my relationship went:
We met, my SO moved in with me relatively quickly, we shared everything.
We married several years after that.

YMMV, but you have to decide if you want to share or not and then tackle other things.
I don't see a path to reducing costs if you are not on the same page (but i might be wrong).
This is just my opinion, take it with whatever amount of salt you think you should :).

englishteacheralex

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2901
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Honolulu, HI
Please let me know what you spend on average each month altogether and per person.

My girlfriend and I have talked about budgeting for groceries (there are 3 of us - her, me, her 6 y.o. son who she has part time).  She is not Mustachian but not a total spendthrift either.  I am wondering how much a Mustachian family would budget for groceries.  (I eat mostly vegan, sometimes vegetarian, which I know is cheaper than buying meat.)  We do belong to Costco also.

Also, if it matters, I do use YNAB, not her.  However I tend to use it as a tracking expenses thing rather than budgeting and than keeping in budget (but trying to change that, hence this question).

The other question I have is about sharing an account.  She brought up sharing an account to purchase shared expenses (rent, utilities, groceries, stuff for the house).  What are your thoughts on this?  We aren't married and I had always been taught (Dave Ramsey) not to have a shared account unless you're married.  I am also thinking that I don't want to just through in my budget for groceries (let's say it's $200) and then have it all spent on groceries when if I kept it separate, I might buy less and put some of the money elsewhere.  What are your thoughts, as Mustachians?

Thanks.

We live in Hawaii. Spend $650/month on food (groceries and restaurants). We are not vegetarian. We have a 2 year old son. Food in Hawaii is very expensive, so we've only gotten our food bill this low through baking our own bread, hardly ever eating out, buying all staples in bulk, and making a lot of freezer food.

I listened to Dave Ramsey almost every day for about seven years. He would also advise against living with a girlfriend. Personally, I can't imagine trying to run a household with another person and not having a shared account. People do it, though. The ghastly conversations about who pays for what...it sounds awkward and unpleasant.

I never lived with anyone until I was married, and we don't have anything separate. Marry her, maybe? But lots of stuff goes into THAT conversation.

Weedy Acres

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 280
We spend about $220/month for the two of us.  We eat lots of fresh, cook from scratch stuff.  We're omnivores, but most meat is poultry.  Not much beef or fish.  We don't drink alcohol or soda, just water and milk.

We live in the Midwest and shop Aldi for most things, Kroger for seasonal produce on sale plus whatever Aldi doesn't carry.

We're married but have separate accounts.  I pay the household bills and a couple times a year pull half out of his account to reimburse me.

Tay_CPA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Portland, OR
I live with my boyfriend in Portland, OR. Not married, separate accounts (but I do have one credit card in my name linked to his account to help him accumulate points/miles). No kids. We spend about $175/month each, or around $350 total. Working on getting that down.. We do eat plenty of meat, which we buy in larger quantities when it goes on sale and freeze most of it. We shop mostly at Fred Meyer (called Kroger elsewhere, I'd assume) and buy only certain things at Costco (almond butter, bacon, tuna, etc.). We try to limit our Costco trips for only a small list of items because things definitely add up there!

In terms of splitting costs, what has worked really well for us lately is the app Venmo. It is super easy after one of us makes a purchase at the grocery store to just request half the amount from the other. We don't have to share any accounts. Venmo is attached to your checking account and makes it really convenient to pay others or receive payments. We keep receipts until we've evened out costs for grocery trips or other expenses. We even use it for rent - I pay the full amount and then he pays me his half through Venmo. Then we each track everything separately in our own Mint accounts. Easy! It does require a lot of communication and money talk each week, but that's been good for us.

Like you mentioned, it seems like it would be a bit difficult to gauge how much to put into the shared account each month, unless you know exactly what your expenses will be.

Good luck!

Sailor Sam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Steel Beach
  • Semper...something
Currently a single person household, spending an average of $330 on groceries. I eat 4-6 meals out per month, which isn't included in the $330.

I go the opposite direction from englishteacheralex, regarding a shared checking account. To me, having to divvy up the bills, and have someone cut a check would be a source of annoyance and discomfort. I'm not saying it to knock Alex's preference, just to point out that organizing money is subjective.

Sounds like your girlfriend wants joint accounts, and you don't. Have you explained to each other the emotional roots of your preferences? Have you brainstormed with her?

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2282
My wife and I spend around 500/mo on groceries. We eat very healthy and a ton of food. I have 3500 clean calories a day and she has half that.

A shared account for just shared expenses sounds fine. My gf started traveling with me while I did contract work, and thus it didn't make sense for her to work. I make a lot so also not worthwhile. After about a year together I added her to my credit card accounts and gave her a card. Now we're married 4.5 years later and there were never issues before and still not.

Then again, if there were issues, or I ever was concerned, I wouldn't marry her in the first place, or even still date her.

I didn't see if you mentioned how long you have been together, but if it's a while, I'd say soon is the time to decide whether you fully trust her or not.

SilveradoBojangles

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
We spend around 500/month on groceries in a HCOL area, and that includes all alcohol and an organic CSA. Without those I could get it down to 350. We rarely eat out, and only eat meat/fish a couple times a week.

In terms of a shared account - we began using a shared account when we moved in together and started planning our wedding. It made things so much easier, but it did magnify the difference in our spending habits (me - super frugal, him - less so). But YNABing got us much more on the same page. You might want to ask her to YNAB all things from the shared account, as it really makes it easier to track where it's going.

Another thing to consider - would you contribute equal amounts or do it based on your proportion of income? I advocate the proportion of income thing because that way both parties have a more equitable budget, but of course there is the kid to consider. We actually do equitable contributions even thought I make much more than my husband, but I live like I make a similar income as he does and all my extra income goes to savings for a downpayment on a house.

MoonLiteNite

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 411
Single adult male
age 29
Height 6' 0"
Weight 175
Austin, TX

And i eat A LOT! I love food!
I spend about 140$/mo.
That includes all the yummy frozen pizza, bags of M&Ms, PBJ, tons of cheese, and eggs. I think my bill is kept down just because i am not a big meat guy. I guess i get sausge and ground beef from time to time, but no steaks or any of the pricy meats.

 
edit:
Shared account
My sister and her boyfriend have been doing that for like 8 years.
They each have a monthly bill of 750$ that they have to put into the account.
That account then pays for rent, bills, internet, an when both agree on other items, like a new fridge, or maybe going out to eat together.
I think it is AWESOME, as long as both parties ALWAYS pay their amount, and PAY ontime, and nobody steals from the account.

And it should be clearly stated, if someone ABUSES the shared account, it is over. Breakup will happen. The account should never grow too large either. You only need a 1 or 2 month buffer in there. If the account gets too large, you both can cut your monthly payment in half or something.

« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 07:46:31 PM by MoonLiteNite »

englishteacheralex

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2901
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Honolulu, HI
Currently a single person household, spending an average of $330 on groceries. I eat 4-6 meals out per month, which isn't included in the $330.

I go the opposite direction from englishteacheralex, regarding a shared checking account. To me, having to divvy up the bills, and have someone cut a check would be a source of annoyance and discomfort. I'm not saying it to knock Alex's preference, just to point out that organizing money is subjective.

Sounds like your girlfriend wants joint accounts, and you don't. Have you explained to each other the emotional roots of your preferences? Have you brainstormed with her?

Divvying up the bills and cutting a check sounds horrible to me! That's why we just have all the accounts in common. It's our money, not his/hers. I wouldn't do this with someone I wasn't married to, though. But I also wouldn't live with someone I wasn't married to, and this problem is a big part of why I wouldn't.

In a roommate with a close friend situation, I guess I'd go through the trouble of the accounting it would require to keep our finances separate. We've gone on vacation with close friends and made spreadsheets in order to figure out who owes whom what. Yeah, that's probably what I would do in an alternative universe where I lived with someone I wasn't married to. Phew, sounds like a lot of work, though. 

appleblossom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 74
  • Location: New Zealand
I can't comment on the cost of groceies as I'm in a completely different country so it wouldn't apply, but I have had a shared expenses account for a number of years and it has worked really well.

Back to when I was living with housemates I had a specific bills account, which each housemate paid their share of estimated weekly/monthly bills into. It wasn't a shard account but as my name was on the bills I wanted control of the money to pay them.
So it was rent, telephone, intenet which were set monthly amounts, and then power was an average and any surplus from one month saved up for winter.
All payments in and out were electronic.

With my current partner (not married) we have a shared expenses account which we pay into from our personal accounts.
It covers mortgage, property taxes, insurances, power, internet, car registration and works the same way as my old account.
We don't do groceries from it, so it is really easy as basically none of the expenses are variable (just power but I overbudget for that anyway), and again all payments are electronic so although we both have access it is not used (or abused) for anything else.
For us it is calculate, set and (mostly) forget.

My partner has been hesitant to fully combine finances, and I have no preferance, so aside from a joint savings account we are seperate. It has been a good half way position for us as there is no nagging or worrying about who is due to pay what.

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1864
I aim for $450 for two; I wouldn't consider that particularly frugal, it's an intermediate goal. I think we can do $400 quite comfortably and $300 if we tried hard. $200, I think, would be enough of a stretch we would feel deprived (i.e. would do in extreme circumstances, not voluntarily). We are basically omnivorous and have some foodie tendencies; rice and beans just won't cut it here while we have an income. :)

On sharing accounts:

My personal experience with a joint household checking account has been very good. I think dealing with a shared pool of money has helped us get on the same page on managing household expenses, and I think waiting until our expenses added up to split them allowed us to be fair without being/feeling petty (Asking for $15.03 for the grocery bill, only to give $21.32 back the next trip seems very nitpicky to us, personally. I realize it works for others and that's great.) He's a user on one of my cards, which we use when we get groceries, gas, cleaning stuff, campgrounds/hotel rooms, tickets to events (to attend together), etc. Toward the end of the month I add rent+utilities+car insurance+internet+card and divide by 2 and we each put that much in the checking account, then everything gets paid from that. We're a month ahead on rent and utilities to prevent accidental overdrafts. If our spending seems high I look at the categories and we adjust the next month. I like this monthly system far better than per-transaction accounting.

That said, disclaimers/opinions:
-I wouldn't (didn't) share an account with someone I wasn't at least living with. (Married living separately would be ok, too). I don't think there's a real need for it; you don't have many joint expenses.
-I wouldn't cohabitate with an SO if we didn't *both* consider it a step toward marriage (not just the next step in the relationship, a way to save on rent, etc).
-It takes trust that your partner will handle a potential (if unlikely) parting of ways in a mature and measured manner, rather than clearing out the account and apartment and disappearing. On the flip side, of the same coin, it helps to go in with the mindset that you are taking on a degree of risk, because you are no longer 100% in control of what's happening with that account, and even the person we think we know and trust 100% has some degree of unpredictability to them...
-BY NO MEANS would I EVER pool ALL finances before marriage. That seems to be asking for trouble (in the 1% case your partner isn't who you believe they are). Also cosigning on a loan, joint credit card, anything else with large-sum, long-term consequences. My HS Consumer Ec teacher urged us to always have an independent account, even if we did do joint finances with a spouse. Personally, I've always thought that sounded prudent.
-Ok one exception to the above on joint loans: if you add an authorized user to a credit card (at least, with AmEx), you retain full responsibility for any balance they put on, but you also can set a limit on the balance they can run up and cancel their authorization anytime. As opposed to a joint card, where you both have the right to run it up to the credit limit and either or both of you can be held responsible for the full balance. Nice side effect, maybe: I've personally seen this help the authorized user's credit score, since your credit limit counts toward their available credit.
-I think pre-engagement couples should aim for 50-50 split on their finances at the lower earner's standard of living. Should the higher earner have a particular need/want beyond that standard they can cover it additionally, e.g. an apartment/home with an extra bedroom for an office if they WFH a lot. I think an income-proportional split in contributions to various things can make sense for married couples, but pre-marriage it amounts to a subsidy that might just disappear.  Engagement can sort of go either way, depending on how seriously it's taken. User's choice.

Playing with Fire UK

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3409
We aren't married and I had always been taught (Dave Ramsey) not to have a shared account unless you're married.

I give you permission to do something different to what Dave Ramsey says. You may decide not to, but it is now your choice.

You are living together and sharing meals (I assume). She is trusting you to cohabit with her child. You say that she is reasonable with money. From my view the only thing stopping you is Dave Ramsey.

If you are going to continue in the relationship then this question is going to come up eventually. If you are more MMM than your partner then you will need to find a balance. Talk about your money values and agree what counts and does not count as a household expense. See how it works for a while and talk about anything that you disagree with. The act of talking through what each of you currently spends as a basis for considering how much needs to go into the joint account will be really useful. If you plan for the relationship to be a short term thing (or you got together with a room mate), then check that you are both on the same page.

I still avoid taking out shared credit/loans with my spouse as there is no need to make more than one of us legally responsible for it in case SHTF. I'd caution against taking out shared credit in general, but not based on whether or not you are married (different if being married makes you responsible for debt - it isn't here).

How similar are your incomes? If they are very different I'd consider putting into the account based on what you are earning rather than 50% of the costs. Your choice.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9249
Please let me know what you spend on average each month altogether and per person.

My girlfriend and I have talked about budgeting for groceries (there are 3 of us - her, me, her 6 y.o. son who she has part time).  She is not Mustachian but not a total spendthrift either.  I am wondering how much a Mustachian family would budget for groceries.  (I eat mostly vegan, sometimes vegetarian, which I know is cheaper than buying meat.)  We do belong to Costco also.

Also, if it matters, I do use YNAB, not her.  However I tend to use it as a tracking expenses thing rather than budgeting and than keeping in budget (but trying to change that, hence this question).

The other question I have is about sharing an account.  She brought up sharing an account to purchase shared expenses (rent, utilities, groceries, stuff for the house).  What are your thoughts on this?  We aren't married and I had always been taught (Dave Ramsey) not to have a shared account unless you're married.  I am also thinking that I don't want to just through in my budget for groceries (let's say it's $200) and then have it all spent on groceries when if I kept it separate, I might buy less and put some of the money elsewhere.  What are your thoughts, as Mustachians?

Thanks.
I live in Santa Barbara, family of 4.  (48, 46, 10, 4)

Our grocery costs
2014: $10,500
2015: $5300
2016: ~$6500 (probably...best guess for end of year.)

Your costs will vary due to where you live, where you shop, and what you eat.  Ways to keep costs down:
- eating less meat
- shopping at discount stores (Aldi, Costco, 99cent only, Asian/Latino groceries)
- making things from scratch
- buying in bulk
- joining a CSA
- keeping a price book

2014 to 2015 cut came from being ruthless.  No more small yogurts, only big tubs.  Only one per week.  I prepped nearly ALL the veggies that we ate.  No more cute bags of cut broccoli.  2lb bags of carrots.  Etc.

TravelJunkyQC

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Québec City, Canada
When my BF and I moved in together, we opened a joint account. This account is, as the OP's GF suggested they do, for joint expenses only. We spend approximately 400$ CAD on food, + electricity, water, internet, etc (fixed living expenses). In our joint account, we deposit only what we need for our living expenses mentioned above, at a pro-rated rate according to our salaries.

I understand that people don't encourage sharing an account before marriage, and I agree. However, since we both replenish the joint account every two weeks (pay-cycle), and the balance dwindles down simultaneously, at the very most, my BF could take off with a maximum of 400$ at any given time from our joint account. He doesn't have access to anything else of mine. Obviously, if either of us spent the joint account in a way that wasn't okay with the other person, this would amount to a huge breach in trust and thus result in a break-up anyway. I like this method, since we are both protected, yet it still saves us the hassle of "you owe my this for groceries and I owe you this for hydro and you owe me this for...".
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 12:50:30 PM by TravelJunkyQC »

carozy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 428
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: Mustachian grocery bill for month? Also question about sharing an account...
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2016, 08:53:20 AM »
Thanks everyone for posting and sharing all your ideas and experiences.  I'm still not sure how we'll handle this but my mind is open and I'm not ruling anything out.  I looked up Venmo and I liked that idea but it doesn't have the ability to split unevenly, although it seems there may be a beta app called Split that does on that.  (Being able to split unevenly would work better for us since we split rent based on % of our incomes we make, and also for dinner situations with friends since I order vegetarian and sometimes the meat eaters' meals are much pricier.)

Right now we are keeping track of things as they happen, and I also have a spreadsheet for the furniture purchases which has helped me keep track.  We haven't really had too many issues except that for groceries we do spend an awful lot and I want to get that down, or have a set budget in place.  We have also talked about getting her set up on YNAB, which I think will really help her save more money and be more conscious of spending.

I'm still not sure on the exact number I should contribute toward groceries/toiletries.  I think I'll wait until she is set up on YNAB and is living on a budget.  Then together we can work on not only having a budget for that category, but getting the number down.  In the mean time, I may just keep my monthly contribution at $200, basing that number on my past experience of $150 to cover my own groceries (buying bulk, vegan) + $50 toward toiletries (Costco, dollar store) and shared veg food that she might buy for us.  I also liked the idea of keeping grocery money in cold, hard, hard-to-spend cash, so I'll talk to her about that too.  We could both contribute our respective sums to the envelope and then use that to keep us in budget.

Thanks again.

Mikila

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 232
Re: Mustachian grocery bill for month? Also question about sharing an account...
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2016, 08:25:58 AM »
Re: Grocery spending, we spend $134 per person per month.  That figure is a long term average.  We "dine out" to the tune of $22 per month per person.  Hope that helps. 

Don't combine accounts until you are married.  This protects YOU. 

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8586
Re: Mustachian grocery bill for month? Also question about sharing an account...
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2016, 07:33:42 PM »
Do joint credit card accounts. That's what my wife an i do. Figure out the best return card for each category and then mutual expenses you agree to above and beyond grocery gas rent etc can go on the card.

Tay_CPA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Mustachian grocery bill for month? Also question about sharing an account...
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2016, 11:19:33 AM »
Thanks everyone for posting and sharing all your ideas and experiences.  I'm still not sure how we'll handle this but my mind is open and I'm not ruling anything out.  I looked up Venmo and I liked that idea but it doesn't have the ability to split unevenly, although it seems there may be a beta app called Split that does on that.  (Being able to split unevenly would work better for us since we split rent based on % of our incomes we make, and also for dinner situations with friends since I order vegetarian and sometimes the meat eaters' meals are much pricier.)

Hmm, Venmo actually allows you to request or pay any amount you want, for anything. You can choose how much to request for rent (or any other expense). For example, say rent is $1,000 and I'm the one paying it with my personal checking account and my BF owes me each month for his portion. If we've agreed that he pays only $300 of that rent, I would just request $300 from him on Venmo and that's what he would pay me. It goes from his checking account to mine, through Venmo, without us sharing a checking account. Same with at dinner. If one person pays for the entire $100 meal but your meal only cost $10 of that, you would only pay him/her $10 + tip on Venmo, which is your portion of the total bill. You can split things however you want using the app.

Hope that helps! :)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 11:25:38 AM by Tay_CPA »

jamesbond007

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 701
  • Location: USA
  • One penny at a time.
Re: Mustachian grocery bill for month? Also question about sharing an account...
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2016, 11:26:24 AM »
We are a family of 3. Self, The lady and a 2 YO toddler. Vegetarians living in a HCOL in CA. Our budgeted monthly expenses are $250 for groceries and $50 for eating out each month. I consistently hit the $50 eating out every month just to make sure we spend some time out. But groceries I usually end up spending about $230 on average. We cook twice a day everyday. Those days when we eat out we cook once a day. We don't usually have left overs. We somehow managed to learn to cook exactly the right amount. No wastage whatsoever.

mountains_o_mustaches

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 158
Re: Mustachian grocery bill for month? Also question about sharing an account...
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2016, 03:48:13 PM »
I actually had to look up my grocery costs, because I'm similar to MMM and don't budget, but looking back over the past 4 months the average is about $250 - 300/ month for me and my SO.  It's hard to pinpoint because we do bulk shopping at Costco so some months are very expensive and others are very cheap depending on what we're stocking up on.  Last month we spent $125 dollars (no Costco trip) while the previous month was over $400.  We're omnivores, but try to keep meat to a minimum for health reasons, and typically eat ~2 meat meals / week.

With regard to sharing an account I'd say it's definitely a personal decision.  For my SO and I we each had our own checking accounts and then a shared one that we each transferred money into for shared expenses.  That shared account was used to pay for rent, utilities and other shared bills, groceries, and dates.  No personal spending came from that account.  We both abided by that agreement and it was never a problem.  For us it made things much easier because we weren't trying to tally who owed who after a date or a grocery shopping trip.  We're also both Mustachian, so there was never squabbling about what we spent on things like groceries.  If your SO has very different spending patterns or would use that account for not agreed upon things, then I wouldn't recommend it. 

carozy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 428
  • Location: San Francisco
Thanks everyone for posting and sharing all your ideas and experiences.  I'm still not sure how we'll handle this but my mind is open and I'm not ruling anything out.  I looked up Venmo and I liked that idea but it doesn't have the ability to split unevenly, although it seems there may be a beta app called Split that does on that.  (Being able to split unevenly would work better for us since we split rent based on % of our incomes we make, and also for dinner situations with friends since I order vegetarian and sometimes the meat eaters' meals are much pricier.)

Hmm, Venmo actually allows you to request or pay any amount you want, for anything. You can choose how much to request for rent (or any other expense). For example, say rent is $1,000 and I'm the one paying it with my personal checking account and my BF owes me each month for his portion. If we've agreed that he pays only $300 of that rent, I would just request $300 from him on Venmo and that's what he would pay me. It goes from his checking account to mine, through Venmo, without us sharing a checking account. Same with at dinner. If one person pays for the entire $100 meal but your meal only cost $10 of that, you would only pay him/her $10 + tip on Venmo, which is your portion of the total bill. You can split things however you want using the app.

Hope that helps! :)

This is helpful info, thanks for taking the time to update with that info!  I've been busy so haven't gotten back to this website in a while, but still have been working on sticking to my budget.  I think I am understanding that for Venmo to work, your friends or significant other also have to have it?  When I have some time I'll look into this more.

So far the girlfriend feels how we are handling things is OK when I brought up the mutual account (she had initially brought it up).  I am trying to stick to around $200 for my share of groceries (including personal and household items), at least for a bit longer since I am still paying my share of furniture we bought when we moved (I only owe $400 left but I used a chunk of my emergency fund for the moving and to pay off a lot of my share of the furniture).

My girlfriend spends a lot more on groceries than I do but she understands that I'm on a budget and am going to be trying to buy my stuff in bulk and cheap stuff like starches (oats, rice, beans, etc.) and Costco for a lot of things.

Just want to thank people again for their responses and apologize for my slow response.

Tay_CPA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Portland, OR
Thanks everyone for posting and sharing all your ideas and experiences.  I'm still not sure how we'll handle this but my mind is open and I'm not ruling anything out.  I looked up Venmo and I liked that idea but it doesn't have the ability to split unevenly, although it seems there may be a beta app called Split that does on that.  (Being able to split unevenly would work better for us since we split rent based on % of our incomes we make, and also for dinner situations with friends since I order vegetarian and sometimes the meat eaters' meals are much pricier.)

Hmm, Venmo actually allows you to request or pay any amount you want, for anything. You can choose how much to request for rent (or any other expense). For example, say rent is $1,000 and I'm the one paying it with my personal checking account and my BF owes me each month for his portion. If we've agreed that he pays only $300 of that rent, I would just request $300 from him on Venmo and that's what he would pay me. It goes from his checking account to mine, through Venmo, without us sharing a checking account. Same with at dinner. If one person pays for the entire $100 meal but your meal only cost $10 of that, you would only pay him/her $10 + tip on Venmo, which is your portion of the total bill. You can split things however you want using the app.

Hope that helps! :)

This is helpful info, thanks for taking the time to update with that info!  I've been busy so haven't gotten back to this website in a while, but still have been working on sticking to my budget.  I think I am understanding that for Venmo to work, your friends or significant other also have to have it?  When I have some time I'll look into this more.

So far the girlfriend feels how we are handling things is OK when I brought up the mutual account (she had initially brought it up).  I am trying to stick to around $200 for my share of groceries (including personal and household items), at least for a bit longer since I am still paying my share of furniture we bought when we moved (I only owe $400 left but I used a chunk of my emergency fund for the moving and to pay off a lot of my share of the furniture).

My girlfriend spends a lot more on groceries than I do but she understands that I'm on a budget and am going to be trying to buy my stuff in bulk and cheap stuff like starches (oats, rice, beans, etc.) and Costco for a lot of things.

Just want to thank people again for their responses and apologize for my slow response.

Congrats on working on sticking to your budget! Depending on where you live, I think $200 for groceries/household/personal items is a good goal. That's about what I spend each month and I don't feel deprived at all in the food department :)

And yes, both people need a Venmo account. If you both have smart phones, you'll each download the app, create a profile, input your bank account info, and you're all set! You can request money from or pay each other at any time, in any amount, and do the same with anyone else who has Venmo. It's free, convenient, and super helpful if you often split things with your partner. Feel free to message me if you have any questions about it!

Best of luck :)