[GNC] How do I manage IOUs between household members?

Arman Schwarz armanschwarz at gmail.com
Sun May 30 04:46:41 EDT 2021

My wife and I would like to separate our individual money from the money
that is "communal". Every month, we take 80% of our salaries and deposit
them into a communal account, leaving 20% as pocket money for ourselves.

So for example, if I make $1000 in one month and my wife makes $2000, then
I would get $200 for myself, she would get $400, and the communal "pot"
would get $2400.

All money is in the same account with our bank and is not separated.

I initially thought we could represent this with Equity:

- Shared Equity ($2400)
- Me ($200)
- Wife ($400)

- Bank Account ($3000)

However, what happens now if I want to lend a friend $200 from my own
money? This is where I get confused. Normally I'd represent a loan as a
withdrawal from the bank account and creation of an "IOU" asset, but how do
I also show that this has come out of "my" money? For example, if I just
create an asset account there's no way to represent the fact that if my
friend defaults on the loan, it should be paid out of my account:

- Shared Equity ($2400)
- Me ($200)
- Wife ($400)

- Bank Account ($2800)
- IOU to my friend ($200)

How can I represent this? Do I have to create a separate transfer of equity
from "Me" to "Shared Equity"? This seems confusing since there is no
intuitive way to ensure that I will remember where to return the funds when
my friend pays me back. E.g. if I forget whether the loan to my friend was
from me or from the shared funds, there's no way for me to tell from the
structure of the accounts.

I really, really want to avoid creating multiple account files as I like
the ability to report on the net assets and income from our whole portfolio.


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