This morning Cindy & I received an email from a listener asking for ideas on the best ways for couples to share and/or split finances. One account? Two accounts? Three accounts? Here's the email, as well as responses from Cindy, myself, and listeners.

Dear Pete & Cindy -

With the new year upon us, my husband and I resolved to do a better job of managing our finances, hoping that it will cause less disagreements over money. We have been married for six years, and have always shared one checking account, but I think it's time we each get our own. He can have his money to spend, and I can have mine. I think we can figure out how to contribute to the bills that need to be paid.

Danny says that separate checkbooks lead to separate beds...which will eventually lead to separate houses & separate lives. He makes quite a bit more than I do, so I'm not sure how much of a say I should have.

I think he's totally overreacting, and if we keep fighting about each others spending we'll have separate lives anyhow. What do other couples do regarding splitting up and sharing the finances.

Help, Tammi (St. Cloud, MN)

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Here's the advice generated so far this morning:

  • Pete:  Get separate accounts. Split up who pays what bills so that each of you have the same amount of spending money at the end of the month.  If he makes more, then he pays more of the bills.
  • Cindy:  It's different for every couple. Some can make it work combining into one account, others need to keep their money separate. Communication is the key.
  • Dee:  Open a third account for paying bills. You each have your own account for individual spending. Need to agree upon how to contribute to the joint account.
  • Jim:  I like Dee's thinking, but contribution to the third account should be a percentage.
  • Julie:  I'd kick him where it hurts.
  • Mike:  If Danny makes a lot more money than Tammi, then he gets to call the financial shots in their marriage.

Let us know what you think by commenting below, or give us a call at 320-252-9897.