• How We Share The Money In Our Marriage

    Rule #1: Divide & Conquer

    We divide most living expenses down the middle. I make less than my husband does and I always have. Regardless, we divide living expenses like the mortgage, the phone bill, and the utilities down the middle.  This stops any “but I pay for this house” arguments before they even start.

    I do make less than my husband, but I pay my share without complaint because of the second rule.

    Rule #2: All Money is “Our Money”

    This is why we don’t need that joint account. We have an understanding that it’s our money, not mine or his.  It’s all part of a family pot no matter which bank account it happens to get deposited into.  If after I have paid my portion of the bills, I don’t have enough left over to pay for those new tires I need… they money comes from my husband’s account without complaint. He didn’t pay for my tires, we did. When he’s covered the cost of a plumbing job and needs gas money, I withdraw gas money for him without a second thought. It’s our money.

    Although the experts say you need a joint account, I think you really just need to have this sort of “ours” mentality in order to be successful managers of your finances.


    Rule #3: Separate but Equal

    There are some bills that it doesn’t make sense to split down the middle. They are either too small or aren’t used equally by both of us. For instance, the Netflix account only costs $10 and sending in two $5 checks would be a bit silly. Another great example is my husband’s NFL viewing package on TV. It’s a bit pricey and I certainly don’t watch more than one or two games a season, so he pays for that from his “spending money.”

    Spending money is money that is left over from what we have earned that month that is not designated for savings or needed to pay a bill or provide for a need. We don’t track what we spend this money on. It’s not important one way or the other. I don’t need to know that he went to McDonalds for lunch with his spending money or that I bought clearance sandals at Target with mine.

    Doing it this way also eliminates the need for us to do things like my dad used to and keep “squirrel money” hidden from one another.

    So what are your rules and guidelines? How are you and your spouse managing the money? What works for you and what doesn’t?

    Written by: Sara Parise

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