My Money Is My Money, And Your Money Is Our Money: Merging Finances

I often tell my husband, “My money is my money, and your money is our money.” It’s kind of become a running joke between us, but there’s a hint of truth in it too.

As the one with a stable job, he is the main breadwinner for our family. My husband and I have always had this understanding about finances in our marriage. His income is what we base our budget and savings on, we live on one income and share a bank account.

Despite that, I also make my own money, but I don’t really keep it all to myself. The money I earn contributes to growing our savings and doing the things we enjoy, such as traveling. It’s like adding a little sprinkle to the financial pot, making it possible for us to splurge on the occasional treat.

Outline of couple with thought bubbles: "Mine?", "Yours?, and "Ours?". Title text: My money is my money, and your money s our money: How to merge finances in a relationship

There are many different sentiments toward merging finances in a marriage, and there is no right one. This is just our preferred way and you have to find the one that suits your individual preferences. 

Sharing Finances

Sharing finances has strengthened the bond between us. It’s not just about dollars and cents but about building a life together.

When we decided to merge our finances, it was a symbolic gesture of trust and unity. We contribute to a common pool of money that goes towards our shared goals, whether it’s buying a house, funding our children’s education, or planning for retirement.

This approach has fostered open communication about financial decisions, encouraging us to work together towards our dreams. For us, it’s less about the numbers and more about the shared commitment and teamwork that comes with merging our financial lives.

However, this isn’t the only way that people in a relationship have to go about managing their finances. According to a study, 55.6% of couples cited financial problems as the reason for their divorce. It’s important to discuss this and other financial expectations before marriage while putting an emphasis on compromise and finding a way that works best for both partners.

Couples may choose to merge their finances in various ways, some common approaches include:

  • Fully Merged Finances: This approach involves combining all income and expenses into joint accounts. Both partners contribute to and have equal access to draw from a shared pool of funds.

    With fully merged finances, there’s a sense of complete financial unity. Both partners have equal access to funds, and all financial decisions are made jointly.

    This method can cause issues, especially if one partner is a spender and the other is a saver. That’s why it requires good communication, transparency, and a strong sense of financial teamwork to meet goals.
  • Partially Merged Finances: Some couples find a balance between shared and individual financial responsibilities by maintaining a combination of joint and separate accounts. They might keep separate accounts for personal expenses, giving each partner a degree of financial independence.

    Simultaneously, they maintain joint accounts for shared expenses like bills, rent/mortgage payments, and savings goals. This approach allows each partner to have their own financial autonomy while also contributing to shared financial goals.

    If there is an income disparity, this does have the possibility of causing tension over who contributes more or resentment from not having as much “play money” left over. 
  • Separate Finances: Spouses can also choose to not share a bank account and keep them fully separate as well. For couples who prefer to maintain a level of financial independence, this could be the ideal choice.

    Each partner keeps their own accounts, and financial responsibilities are divided based on a predetermined agreement. This method requires clear communication, compassion, and a commitment to fairness to prevent potential conflicts.

It’s all about finding that balance that makes both partners feel comfortable and secure.

How Do Couples Split Bills?

When couples choose to share their lives, they often find themselves faced with the question of how to handle shared expenses. From rent and utilities to groceries and entertainment, deciding how to split these bills and who will manage what can sometimes be a tricky task.

My husband used to take control of setting up all the accounts and paying the bills. However, that quickly changed with our first complication when he went on deployment.

I was attempting to pay the bill; however, I got locked out of the online account and they wouldn’t let me pay it over the phone since my name wasn’t on it. By the way, what kind of company refuses to just take money? Geesh!

For us, sharing finances and managing the bills myself is just more convenient and avoids having to pay late fees. Our approach may not be the perfect fit for everyone, and that’s absolutely okay.

Here are 7 common ways couples split bills:

  1. Merging All Income: In this approach, both parties can combine all of their income into a joint account and use it to pay bills.
  2. Breadwinner Pays All Bills: This is a method that many believe is antiquated where the husband pays all of the bills and the wife uses her income as she pleases. This is the “my money is my money, and your money is our money” approach. However, it can be a good choice, especially where the differences in income are so vast that one partner merely makes “pocket change”. 
  3. 50/50 Split: Couples can decide to split everything equally and split all bills in half. With this, each partner can put the amount needed in their shared bank account and then use it to pay the bills and contribute towards savings goals.
  4. Splitting Bills Based on Income: If one partner makes a significant amount more than the other, you can choose to pay certain percentages of bills. For example, one partner making $70,000 per year can pay 60% of the bills while the spouse making $47,000 can pay 40%.
  5. Specify Bills to Pay: Each partner can be assigned specific bills to be in charge of. This can help avoid disagreements sometimes. For example, if one partner is said to always be wasting water, they can be in charge of the water bill to mitigate arguments. They can also split based on income and the higher income earner pays the costlier bills.
  6. Alternate Months: Another way to equally split bills is to take turns covering all of the expenses on alternate months. However, this can also cause issues if there is a bill that varies greatly from month-to-month.
  7. Hybrid Approach: Couples can combine different ways of splitting bills to fit their preferences. For example, they might choose to equally split the rent/mortgage and then assign different smaller expenses to be in charge of.

The key to successfully splitting bills is open communication and finding an approach that both partners are comfortable with. It’s important to be considerate towards your partner and have regular discussions about financial goals, responsibilities, and any adjustments needed can help maintain a harmonious financial arrangement. 

Additionally, reevaluating the chosen method periodically and adjusting it as circumstances change is important for ensuring the arrangement remains fair and effective.

Money destroys relationships, don’t let it affect yours. Remember that the goal is to strengthen your relationship and build a life together as partners, not opponents.


Now that we’ve explored ways to navigate shared expenses, let’s address some common questions about financial dynamics in relationships.

How much money should a husband give his wife?

The amount of money a husband should give his wife isn’t set in stone, and it isn’t a requirement either. Rather than focusing on a specific amount, open communication is vital. Have an open chat about your goals, expenses, and what feels fair. Each partner should be able to have some freedom with their spending, yet still keep in mind their shared responsibilities and goals.

How much should a wife contribute financially?

Like the husband, the financial contribution of a wife varies and there’s no fixed rule. It’s about what feels right for you both. In today’s world, partnerships often mean sharing the financial load. Chat openly about your financial goals and needs. The key is finding a system that respects both of your roles and ensures a fair share in managing expenses. No pressure, just teamwork and finding what clicks for you two!

Should a wife have to ask her husband for money?

The idea of a wife asking her husband for money can vary and may even be a warning sign of financial abuse. It’s all about what works for you both. Some couples share finances and don’t need to ask, while others prefer to have a heads-up before spending larger amounts. Open communication is key. Make sure you’re on the same page about spending habits and financial goals. It’s less about “asking” and more about being on the same wavelength to avoid any surprises or misunderstandings. Whatever you decide, it’s all about respecting each other’s feelings.

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