Before you start reading, realize that this is one man’s opinion on how you should divvy up your money in a marriage. But it does come from someone who has not only been happily married for 20 years, but also has a smooth-sailing financial life.
In other words, my wife and I are very happy with our financial picture, have close to zero debt, and don’t have any real money issues. If you are going to listen to someone financially, we’re a couple who has our ducks in a row.
(**note – stating the preceding is important. I have had debates with people who have strong opinions on this topic, only to find out that they have a terrible financial picture, lousy credit, and couldn’t even buy a set of new tires right now without a credit card. In other words, they may have a certain way of doing this, and even feel strongly about it, but it’s clearly not really working for them.)
So here’s my advice on the subject – there really is no divvying up the money. It’s ALL “your” money (and by “your”, I mean as both of you as a couple).
In other words, there is no mine and yours. No “I pay these bills, you pay those bills.” Here’s how my wife and I do it:
Two main accounts. One for saving, and for bills. The bulk of both of our paychecks go into these accounts, and ALL bills get paid from the “bills” account (including funding our IRA’s).
We each have a slush fund account to spend on whatever we want. This is where I buy my stereo equipment from, she buys her 106th purse (she likes purses), and so on. We each get $XX a week in cash for whatever, and this is how we fund these accounts. Also, any gift money or money made on the side (etc.) goes into these accounts.
We are both free to use credit cards for most incidental household expenses/gas/etc. Any purchase over $100 gets discussed. In other words, we need to agree before buying a new TV. And if I really want a bigger TV for my rec room, I need to use my slush fund money.
We pay our Credit Card bill in full every month. Period. Except for the house/cars, if we can’t truly afford it that month, we don’t buy it.
So there’s my advice. There is no mine and yours. There is no “I make more than you, so I get more” etc. There is no splitting the bill paying. It’s all together.
This is how we do it, and it works for us. And I mean really works – we have great credit, there’s no resentment, we enough money to do what we wish, etc. We are truly on the same page in our partnership, which if you think about it, is what a marriage really is.