It's something a lot of couples argue about. Often it's more important to one of you than the other. But when one of you slips, both of you suffer. What am I talking about? Money, of course. Because money can be such a sharp point of contention in relationships, it's important that you come up with a financial plan that works for both of you.
Whether or not the last names on a joint account are identical, the money in that account belongs to both of you. But you're each responsible for keeping track of spending. You may have been a master of tracking when you had an account to yourself, but this becomes more difficult when two people have access to one account. But difficult doesn't mean impossible — it just means the two of you really have to communicate.
Coming up with a joint-spending plan is one of the first conversations you should have about your shared money. There are plenty of computer programs, like Mint and Quicken that keep track of all expenditures so you can see exactly where your money is going. And if all of your bills aren't set up for automatic payments each month, make sure you know who is responsible for making timely payments to avoid any late fees.
What are your tips for managing a joint account?