His, Hers and Ours

His, Hers and Ours

Audio Version: Let Me Hear It!

They say that the secret to a happy marriage is having separate bathrooms. We’re not so sure that private tinkle time is the key to marital bliss (or that realistic for most) but there is something to be said for keeping a few things separate in a marriage. Cash may be one of those things. More and more couples are starting to take the “his, hers and ours” approach to cash.  Will it work for you?

Consider sitting down with your spouse to review your budget.  Identify what portion of your take-home pay can be allocated toward discretionary spending. Although it may seem like every last dollar is used to cover “needs,” the reality is that most of us spend 10-30% of our pay on wants (cable, dinners out, gym memberships). From this discretionary pool, agree on an amount that you can each siphon off to your own checking accounts to spend as you please. This will provide both of you with the freedom to “do you” without feeling guilty or disrupting the family budget. Even better, it will allow for just enough secrecy to surprise (or be surprised!) with a great gift.

Prefer single bathrooms and checking accounts? That’s okay too. Whatever approach you choose, keep these tips in mind for a financially healthy marriage:

  • Define shared goals and priorities
  • Touch base on your budget a few times a year to make sure you are staying on track with your shared plan.
  • Be open and honest (no hiding purchases in your car!)

May your arguments be more about hogging the bathroom and less about money!