Not sure how to set up hubby's fun money

Right now we have 3 chequing accounts (his, mine, and ours), 2 savings accounts (his, and mine), 2 lines of credit, and 3 credit cards all set up as "on budget" accounts.  The joint chequing account is currently only used for hubby's fun money.  His paycheque goes into his account, and mine in to my account.  It's complicated but for the most part works.  I just ensure that the accounts have the money they need for the direct payments and then everything else basically comes out of my account.  The problem lies with the fun money category. . . it never matches up.  I think he's overspent and he thinks I've made an accounting error - we have the same argument every month. . .and for the life of me I can't find the source of the error/spending.

I was thinking of taking his "fun money account" off the budget and keeping it as a tracking account, but then I don't know how to handle it when he uses his on budget credit card for an online purchase.  Any suggestions?

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  • Easiest way would be to set up a separate line item, like "fun money" -- you put money in there. Once it's spent, move the specific amount to the proper category. (e.g. Credit card, checking account, etc.)

  • That's how I have it set up now.  I should have mentioned that he won't look at the category balance.  He won't budge from the belief that if the money is in that specific account he can spend it.  I guess I'm trying to set it up so that is true so he's less frustrated (he finds ynab mind boggling) and is will stick to it.  He's not trying to sabotage our budget just doesn't understand it.

  • I keep hubby's pocket money account completely off budget.  The only inflows is his pocket money (his wages get split to multiple accounts).  It is entirely up to him to manage it.  If he spends from it for household stuff, then I look at it to confirm the amount, do a transfer and enter the transaction into YNAB against the correct category, e.g. groceries.  

    So, can you allocate one bank account to just him and you control the rest?

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  • The joint chequing account is currently only used for hubby's fun money. 

    I should have mentioned that he won't look at the category balance.  He won't budge from the belief that if the money is in that specific account he can spend it. 

    This is an easy solution.  (1) Make Hubby's Fun Money category available amount equal to the amount of money in the joint account.  (2) When he spends his fun money from the joint account, the transaction is recorded in the joint account register, and the category is always Hubby's Fun Money.

    Bingo, done.  He is happy because he can spend according to the account balance, and you're happy because the category is never overspent (because then he would overdraw the account).

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  • Hi Silver Robot !

    You've gotten a number of suggestions here and there are a number of ways you could make this work! I have a question: how are you currently keeping track of the account balance? It sounds like you're trying to match up the account balance to the category balance, but things keep falling out of line - is that correct? 

    YNAB is meant to give all of your dollars a job, regardless of which account they're in, so if you want a specific account to match a particular category it takes some manual overseeing. You'll want to make sure that all income in that account is categorized as Inflow: To Be Budgeted and then budgeted towards that category and all transactions are categorized to "Fun Money". If you check the account balance and category balance often, you should be able to keep them in line. :)

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  • Thanks everyone.

    I'm going to test out the suggestions over the next few months and see which works.  I like the fact that ynab doesn't care where the money is. . . but that concept is going over hubby's head.  I think taking his spending account off the budget will help, then I only have to deal with his credit card purchases and make sure I do the transfers often enough from his account to keep things reflecting reality.

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