I have arrangement with my spouse that everything that we earn is "shared" but we get monthly allowance that is personal. We get our salaries to personal accounts and tract how much we owe to in shared spreadsheet. When we move money to common account or make "family related" payments we subtract them from amount owed, likewise if we use common account for personal purchases then we increase amount owed accordingly.

Now I use Gnucash to track my personal expenses but I'm only track the movement of money between my and income/expense accounts. The information if such move is personal or "common" and the balance of money owned to shared account is simply not there.

Any advice how to set up accounts and enter transactions to be able to track such information?

3 Answers 3


I added "Shared money in account" (SMIA) as sub-account of my bank checking (CA) account and moved current difference to that account so total of CA was not changed but now private and shared money is separated. My cases would be handled the following

  • Salary - Salary => SMIA
  • Allowance - SMIA => CA
  • Common expenses - SMIA => Expense
  • Private expenses - CA => Expense
  • Move to shared bank account - SMIA => Shared Account

The only downside I see is that now my balance in CA transaction log do not match exactly with bank so reconciliation will be slightly harder.


You can set up a GnuCash account to track the Cheque Account that you hold at the bank. Then set up 3 sub-accounts of that account in GnuCash called

  • Shared Money
  • Husband Allowance
  • Wife Allowance.

When you move money into the cheque account, initially record it in the Shared Money sub-account. Once per month, record a (notional) movement of the appropriate amounts in GnuCash from Shared Money into the two Allowance sub-accounts.

Whenever a purchase is made, decide whether the money should be recorded in GnuCash against the Shared Money sub-account, or against Husband Allowance or Wife Allowance. This will allow you to keep track of the available allowances remaining.

When reconciling your bank statement against GnuCash, reconcile against the parent cheque account, but tick the "include sub-accounts" box on the reconciliation control screen.

  1. Create Accounts Payable / Asset account for your spouse.
  2. Use the Split Transaction feature

For example: Dinner together:
DR Food 50
DR Spouse 50
CR Credit Card 100

  • I do not see how it would help. I imagine this that way - single transaction may
    – AGrzes
    Oct 23, 2016 at 18:25
  • Debit Checking Account X + Credit Expense / Utilities X + Debit Money Owned To Shared "Account" X. But another only Debit Checking Account Y + Credit Expense / Entertainment Y. And I do not see how split would help.
    – AGrzes
    Oct 23, 2016 at 18:27

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