Money In The Family: 3 Financial Models Of A Joint Budget

A household budget is a plan of your family’s incoming and outgoing money over a period of time, such as a month or a year. Many people spend their income without thinking about how to allocate their money so that it works for them. 

Set aside a time when you and the other adults in your family can get together and discuss your family budget. This could be you and your partner, adult children or parents who live with you. Either way, the family needs to come to a common agreement and understand what kind of financial model everyone in the family accepts. 

With the right financial model in place, the family will be able to allocate responsibilities and manage funds wisely. Financial planners identify three family budgeting models: joint, separate and mixed. After considering them, examining all the advantages and disadvantages, you can determine which one is most suitable for your family so that there will be no disagreements. 


In a joint financial planning model, the entire budget is put into a “common pot”. The size of each family member’s contribution is irrelevant as finances and goals are shared. The family saves and spends the common budget, so no one has their own personal finances. This is the most common model of family budget planning in our country.

Advantages. With this planning model it is quite possible to accumulate funds, the profits and expenses are transparent and there is a sense of community in the family. 

Disadvantages. If there is only one earner in the family, this model might work against a harmonious relationship. The one who earns money may start to think that he has more right to manage finances as he sees fit. The important thing is to be able to spread the money around, even if the family members do not work or earn the same amount.  


This is a model where everyone in the family earns, spends and saves their own money. They will also contribute equally to joint expenses like groceries, paying for a restaurant or going on holiday. This model is often present in couples who have just started dating, do not yet have common goals and are not yet ready to create a budget together. 

Advantages. Each member of the family is financially independent and responsible only to themselves, so the situation that one of the couple suddenly stops contributing to the budget and the other one starts providing for the whole family is practically impossible. 

Disadvantages. There are no common goals, and there are no agreements about how to spend the money. This model is dangerous because one member of the family can get into debt, and the partner will not know about it. 


This model combines a common budget and a separate budget. Here, each member of the family invests part of their earnings for common purposes, and part keeps for personal needs. 

Advantages. In this model everyone has his or her own money and can dispose of it as they want, and at the same time the family has a common budget. That way everyone in the family feels important and at the same time financially independent of the other family members.

Disadvantages. If everyone does not contribute equally to the budget, there may be disagreements and disputes over the savings goals.

How to choose a financial budgeting model

If you do not identify a specific model, it is important to discuss with the family about details such as 

Who will take charge of the family’s finances.

Is there going to be disagreement about personal spending? 

Any family goals that require a joint budget

How stable are the income and expenses in the family.

This will enable them to come to a mutual budget planning, prioritizing and setting goals for the future. Communication within the family plays an important role in proper money management. Having honest conversations with your partner can help you avoid conflict over money. And involving children in planning and budgeting can make it easier to reach savings goals together.

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Author: Doris Cory

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