Photo by Olu Eletu

My 6 favorite tools to master your money together

There are so many aspects of managing money — making it, storing it, investing it, tracking it, sharing it and on and on. Sometimes, it can all get a little overwhelming. I get it, I’ve spent 10 years trying more than 100 apps with my ever-patient husband. I even ended up building one with a rockstar team of fellow sufferers. But before you succumb to money avoidance, here are six tools that promise to make your life easier:

1. 1Password/Lastpass.

A password manager for all our accounts.

PROBLEMS IT SOLVES:

  • Stores usernames/passwords for all of our personal and shared accounts
  • Helps me avoid the anxiety I face each time I have to enter one of my husband’s uber complicated passwords
  • Let’s us have easy access to the information above on mobile or web

HOW WE USE IT:

  • We’ve installed both web and mobile extension so signing into anything doesn’t require pulling out my husband’s trusty Moleskin
  • We keep all important documents like our tax returns, our health insurance information and our wills in there so each of can access it if needed (this ended up being a lifesaver when I landed in the ER one night)
  • Created a shared vault for people who might need access to some of this information (my mom, our EA).

2. A joint credit-card.

Because we don’t merge our finances 100%, my husband and I use a joint CC to put all our shared spending on.

PROBLEMS IT SOLVES:

  • We don’t have to try remembering who paid for what or how much they paid
  • Gives us a sense of what we’re spending on shared stuff
  • We earn rewards for stuff we can do together!

HOW WE USE IT:

  • We’re both authorized users on the account and liable for the card together
  • We auto-pay for all of our monthly bills on this card so we don’t ever get stuck with late fees
  • We take the points we earn and plan a fun date night with the rewards. One year, we saved up the points and bought a coffee machine!
  • We use it to protect big purchases like our coffee machine (often credit cards have 90-day purchase protection on items you buy using that card)

3. Zeta.

We use it to track our personal and shared spending and net worth in one place. Full disclosure: I built this app.

PROBLEMS IT SOLVES:

  • We had three different places we tracked spending which got really old, fast
  • We can share personal account-level info without sharing the specific transactions
  • We can hide the stuff we’re not ready to share or want to keep a surprise

HOW WE USE IT:

  • We used Zeta to setup a realistic budget based on what we were spending
  • We use the weekly updates Zeta sends us to make sure we’re staying on track throughout the month
  • We use their personalized monthly reviews to guide our money date
  • We talk through changes in our net worth to make sure it’s headed in the right direction

4. Earny.

Earny gets us cash back on purchases without us having to do any work.

PROBLEMS IT SOLVES:

  • I get really annoyed when something I bought drops in price 3 days later

HOW WE USE IT:

  • We each signed up for it and then never logged in again. It works automatically to find us savings and handles the work directly with our credit card company.

5. SquareCash/Venmo.

We use this to send money back and forth to each other.

PROBLEMS IT SOLVES:

  • Our cleaning lady doesn’t accept credit cards so one of us pays cash and the other sends the money over
  • Sometimes we borrow money from each other to cover individual expenses that we don’t have the cash to pay for

HOW WE USE IT:

  • Basically as described above
  • Sometimes, we also use it to send money to other family members and friends

6. Robinhood.

We use Robinhood to invest in the stock market without any fees. Full disclosure: I wrote an ode to Robinhood confessing my love to them.

PROBLEMS IT SOLVES:

  • We both really wanted to invest in the stock market in a super-easy way
  • I like to avoid fees whenever possible

HOW WE USE IT:

  • We can make our money work for us!
  • It’s become an awesome way for us to talk about what we’re investing in and why
  • We have a mini-competition with each other on how our investments are doing — I’m currently winning. :)

Did I miss an awesome tool? Tell me about it!

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The Money Date is a publication of Zeta, a tool that helps couples master their money together. You can check out our free resources for love and money here.