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How Do You and Your Partner Divide Your Money?

MoneyMoney and relationships is always an interesting topic to discuss. I think there are a number of reasons why, but mainly I think it has to do with the fact that there is no real “right” way for two people in a relationship to divide their money.

Personally speaking, my wife and I combined our finances shortly before marriage, and haven’t looked back. We view marriage as being teammates so it only makes sense to have combined finances. However, what is going to work for us isn’t necessarily going to be the best thing for your given situation and vice versa. The key, in my opinion, is to find what works best for you and your situation and communicate. In fact, I’d say communication is the overall key regardless of how you and your partner divide your money.

With all that being said, I always find it interesting to learn how other couples share their financial resources which is what brought me to this infographic from Visual.ly. The infographic, as you can see, compares younger couples (aged 30 and under, college educated and making more than $50,000 per year) and those they consider affluent (making more than $100,000 per year) to what is considered the general population.

What I found interesting was that that the younger population tended to be somewhat higher in terms of dividing their money, generally speaking, than the general population. What I also found intriguing was the number of couples who would classify their financial communication as good or excellent – 77%, especially considering money matters are a huge factor when it comes to divorce.

What I did like was seeing couples recommend joint decision making. Other things, like emergency funds and retirement planning were covered, so it spans a wide spectrum. Ultimately, I just think this infographic points back to the fact that how you manage your money is largely personal and that you need to apply it to your given situation.

How Do Couples Divide Their Money

 

 

How do you and your partner divide your money? Has it changed since being married or will it change once you do get married? How much can you spend without clearing it with your partner?

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of: Fylkesarkivet

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John Schmoll is a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. He's passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes so that they can live lives free from the shackles of debt and empowered to make their money work for them. You can check out his other sites: Frugal Rules, for ways to improve your financial literacy; and Sprout Wealth for tips on different ways to make more money. John has been featured on Forbes, Lifehacker, Yahoo Finance and US News & World Report and more. If you're wanting to grow your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.

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23 comments

  1. For me, when you get mattied, all the incomes and expenses must be combined. BUT we must also include a portion of the budget for each individual for them to enjoy their hard-earned money.

  2. It’s definitely hard to divide money of married people. That info graphic says it all. Very helpful. Should a wife or husband have a separate saving? What do you think? coz for me I find it very beneficial.

  3. We recently combined our assets since I relocated to the US. However, since we’re both self-employed we set up two joint accounts so that each of our incomes would flow into a separate account for tax and accounting purposes. We have another joint account where expenses not paid for on the cc come out of. We also have separate savings accounts.

  4. Our finances are combined, but we use separate accounts for day to day life. Does that make sense, haha? My husband is self-employed so I don’t use that checking account (though I am on it). That’s where his business money flows in and out and it’s just easier if we don’t mix personal expenses in there. We talk about money daily, though, and always tell each other what we bought that day.

    • That does make sense. 🙂 I can understand why you have that set-up with your husband being self-employed. We had something similar when it was just my wife working for yourself and just made it joint when I took the plunge. But, you hit on the main point – communication. That’s vital in my opinion.

  5. I don’t combine and don’t think I would if I got married. I put half of the expenses’ money on a joint account, partner puts the other half, we do what we want with what we each have left over. I may go a step further with marriage and kids but not joint all the way.

  6. Right now my significant other and I don’t combine our finances, but we certainly will once we’re married since we’re expecting a single-earner household (and keeping money separate in that situation would be strange). I like the idea of having everything go into the shared accounts, but having a little “allowance” going into each of our own personal checking accounts so we can have our own fun money without having to check in with each other all the time.

    • That’s a great point about the awkwardness Taylor. We have allowances as well and my wife used to put it in a small checking account she had opened but she ended up deciding it wasn’t worth having another account to deal with so she decided to close it and just stick with the cash or use her rewards card.

  7. When I got married, me and my partner argued that we should have a different account. Yes, we divide the bills and other expenses, but for us, it’s better not to have a joint account.

  8. My husband and I have had our finances combined from the beginning. It makes things so much easier. Rather than trying to figure out who must contribute what from their individual piles, we just have one pile we budget from. We review our budget each month and finalize it together. We each get some blow money each month that we can spend on whatever we want but that comes from our joint account. Since we both know what is in the budget and can both access it, we know if money is available if needed. We discuss money on a fairly regular basis so we have never had an issue with the joint account.

  9. We simplify our lives by using a joint account. What’s the point in budgeting two separate accounts if you are married and on the same team? Multiple accounts and seeing who pays for what is just complicated. When we first were married we had multiple individual accounts. I was exhausted trying to keep track of it all. For us it was about simplifying and making our financial lives easier.

    Also, there is a side benefit for emergencies that most people forget about. It gives me comfort knowing my wife has access to our money if I were to be incapacitated. Not many couples give their spouse power to make those decisions when they have separate accounts. If something happens their spouse would not be able to take funds from the accounts without previous consent on file (known as a POA).

  10. My husband and I got engaged quickly, and he was in debt. So he was happy to put me in charge of his finances. We would have full-on combined accounts, but he had an outstanding amount owed to another bank, so mine wouldn’t take him. We got that taken care of, but we still had to wait a year before Washington Mutual (RIP) would accept him.

    He still had a debit card for various transactions — which caused its own share of trouble, of course — but by and large I was able to keep tabs on both accounts and things got a lot better a lot quicker.

    • I can definitely understand keeping things separate when there is an issue of someone bringing debt into the relationship. That said, glad to hear you were both on the same page and got things going well quickly. 🙂

  11. My wife and I combine all of our fiances, other than our individual “blow money” each money. Love the infographic!

  12. My wife and I have our finances pool. Until recently, we worked on saving only her income but we have started to use both incomes to spend and have started to save more money! I manage our finances but try to include her in how things are looking on a weekly basis. We have started to use ‘buckets’ for our finances and this allows us to save more and not have to worry about spending as much. I have definitely liked the ‘blow’ money and charitable giving parts so far.

    Do you have any tips on how to include your significant other when they are not interested?

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