Finances: Yours, Mine, Ours

Let's talk money.
Specifically, sharing it.


Most couples, upon moving in together and/or getting married, have that discussion about how to deal with the finances.

As a couple, do you throw it all in a pot?  Do you keep your accounts separate?  Or a mix of the two?

I've known for a while exactly how I wanted to handle this, and I am lucky that Ian completely shared the same philosophy.

We do what we call "Yours, Mine, Ours."

We decided to keep our own personal accounts separate, however we created a joint account to which we both have complete access and debit cards.  For us, this works incredibly well.  Each month, we both transfer a pre-determined amount from our individual accounts to the joint account.  (If we were really smart, we'd set it up as an automatic draft, but that's a step ahead.)  You may decide to put in equal amounts, or you may decide to put in an amount that is proportional to what you make, i.e. 50-70% of your take-home monthly pay.  That's incredibly helpful if you are his sugah mommah.

Here is what we use our joint account for:
  • Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • House projects/repairs
  • Home decor
  • Cleaning service
  • Cell phone bill; we are on a family plan together
  • Drake expenses ... from rawhides to vet bills
  • Groceries
  • Meals we eat together
  • Vacation expenses
  • Gas, if we are on a road trip together
There are some exceptions -- say I go to the grocery store to stock up on work lunches and a bottle of wine.  I use my own money, since these are things for me and not for the "household." 

Now, I do have some girlfriends that chose the "throw it all in one pot" method, and that works well for them.  Even if one has debt and the other has a killer savings account, they buy more into the concept of sharing everything.  And I think that's cool too, if it works well for them.

I just know that with me?  I don't ever want to feel pangs of guilt for spending our joint money on an expensive spa service, pair of unnecessary shoes, or a $40 wine tab after a girls night. 

Because I can guarantee those will happen.  GUAR-AN-dang-TEE.

And on the flipside, I don't have to sit at my computer checking our online account, fuming because he just dropped $200 of our money on an Xbox. 

What's your philosophy on couples sharing money?  His/Hers, Yours/Mine/Ours, or Throw It All In A Pot And Don't Get Crazy Eyes When He Drops Major Money On New Golf Clubs?


  1. That is how my husband and I do it, except about 95% of the time I pay for all groceries and Grae pays for dinner out. It tends to balance out in the end.


  2. We literally do THE EXACT SAME THING. Though it isn't romantic the financial adviser told us that this was smartest thing to do to keep yourself financially sound as an individual. For me, it is a clothes & shoes thing - ha!

  3. We do that same thing too- except I am giving his portion of the money because he isnt good with "budgeting" right now the pool is being used for a "baby savings" but it will turn out to be used for what you have listed most likely, thats a good list!

  4. As a newly engaged lady (YEE!!) I found this article INCREDIBLY helpful. I just forwarded to my fiance (YEE!!) because we've just started that conversation. We are even thinking about setting up a Yours, Mine, Ours, Wedding...type of situation!!

    Thanks April - really helpful.

  5. We do nearly the same thing. We put our pay into a joint account and use it to pay all our bills, buy groceries, do things together, divvy up into savings, etc.

    Then I have a little money from a relative of mine that I get each month as part of my inheritance that goes into a separate account of mine. I use that account for all "me" things-- coffee at work, lunch out with a coworker, a shirt at old navy, etc. This works well for me because I don't like having to answer for my "me" purchases.

  6. You have a great system here. Since M is older by almost a decade and has had a stable career since college, he does pay a large amount of everything household. However, I chip in when I can. I think after my name has changed after our Oct wedding we will get a joint checking-savings but we have been living together since 2008 so it won't be a big change. Great post!

  7. This is such a great post! So many (actually all) of my husbands friends think its so crazy that we do everything separate. So many people think the husband should be the primary person responsible for the finances. I am not one of these people. I think that each person should be responsible and should be able to see where the money is spent - it makes you a lot less likely to spend some serious dough on a few Lilly dresses (for example) when you see that could pay for a month and a half of groceries! Kudos for putting this out there!

  8. So crazy... I was out with Sunkissed & Southern & JGIWC last night and this exact topic came up!!

  9. We sort of do it all in one pot. It's funny what works/doesn't work sometimes!

  10. My husband and I just throw it all in one pot! We felt since we were married, we wanted to share everything, and money was something that was OURS, not mine or his. It works well for us, and whether the money I spend on shoes comes out of that big pot or a separate one...its all the same money, so for us, the idea didn't make sense! Great post! :)

  11. I'm with you! We have separate accounts, but share all of the bills down to groceries. It works better for us that way for many reasons. One, being that I am Type A and balance my checkbook down to the penny. My hubby on the other end could care less if he got a receipt at the gas pump!

  12. Question - How do you save money? I dont think you addressed that. Do you both have savings? Do you have a joint savings? We have a budget based on his income and savings goals based on his income. Luckily we are able to save every dime of my income. In the end, isn't it all yours and his anyways?

  13. We throw it all in one pot and have a budget that we follow. We do budget in fun money for each of us weekly. This helps when I want to go for a spa day or out with the girls. It works for us but totally see benefits to your method as well :)

  14. This is such an interesting topic and everyone does things differently! As for us, we throw it all in a pot! We made this decision before we got married. My parents did it this way and it just seemed to be the right way for us. The whole you pay this, this and this and I will pay that and that just seems to confusing for my simple brain to handle! :) It is so much easier to keep track of with just one account! It has worked fabulously! I have learned to accept the $200 golf clubs knowing I just went on a shopping spree myself. :)

  15. I'm not sure how I'll do it when the time comes for me, but my boyf & I will probably do something very similar to what y'all do...each have our own checking/savings accounts, and have a joint checking/savings.

    I imagine that the majority of our funds would be put into the joint checking/savings with a bit left over for our personal accounts.

    Since I'm an accountant, I'll probably end up managing all of the money regardless, but I agree that it is easier to do a his/hers and ours situation.

  16. This is super interesting! I've never heard of doing this before. For us, we have our joint checking and savings account. We don't make enough to really divide out anything else other than our bills right now, so if one of us wanted to make a crazy expensive purchase we wouldn't even be able to. A couple of times I've gone shopping and been like "okay honey, I'm going shopping. I'll keep it under this amount" and it works. He doesn't ever really spend money on anything ever for himself, so when he does, I totally encourage it! We each have our own credit cards, but both are almost maxed out from before we were married =X Yikes. I passed this on to my hubby though, I really like the idea!

  17. We just throw it all into one big pot. I'm lucky that he doesn't care what I spend on shopping. We both work full-time, making around the same amount of money - that might help matters.

  18. This is interesting. I didn't think I was in the minority on this but apparently I am! Or we're just old-fashioned/traditional?

    We've had one pot of finances since before we were even engaged. Our first year living together (while still in school), we had separate accounts but kept a joint one for rent and living expenses. Once we graduated and moved states, it was combined into one account and has stayed that way ever since.

    I think a big reason it works for us it because we're almost entirely on the same page when it comes to finances. We both have a lot of school debt - nearly equal amounts. We both save like squirrels for a down payment. And we hardly splurge on "things" without the other being there (clothing, eating out, electronics, beauty, etc.). Generally speaking, neither of us would make a large purchase without running it by the other. Most times the other would be there though - that's just how we are.

    I think it would be different though if our school debt situations weren't so equal or if one of us came into the relationship with assets, for example.

  19. So crazy, I've wanted to do a similar post for so long. Maybe I will and reference yours! :)

    We will do everything in one pot next April. Kevin knows what I spend on gifts, groceries and shopping now and his response when I asked him if he was going to complain when we shared was, "why would you go spend differently when our money is together than you do now?" So since he is okay with how I save and spend now, he won't be complaining then.

    And I know he saves and doesn't spend frivilous money either so I'm fine if he wants to go buy something big for himself, he earned it.

    The reason we've always both been of this "one pot" mindset - both of our sets of parents have one big pot - what's mine is yours and yours is mine.

    For us, this will work and to each their own! Gotta do what's right for you!

    And PS - thanks for the post, I loved reading all the comments too!

  20. I've never understood this trend. Yes, we had to get used to eachother's spending habits after we got married and joined accounts, but after about 3 months it was no big deal. Sometimes he spends more money, sometimes I spend more. We openly talk about our finances and if it's a big purchase we give one another a heads up. I think people that keep their own accounts will eventually realize how silly it is the longer they are married.

  21. I think if both spouses are on the same page then whatever works for that couple works! We are one pot on everything...both names on every credit/debit card/savings. We talked a lot about this before getting engaged and didn't share until after the wedding. We both definitely have our days where we blow money more than the other, but we just tell the other person. We agreed that we would never make a big purchase without discussing it first. So, I wouldn't go buy a Louis Vuitton I guess without talking with him. Other than that, I will go blow some money on clothes or drinks, etc. ;)

  22. and yes, how weird that BHB and JGIWC and I were just talking about this last night!! Oh, and I think Im the only one of my girlfriends that does this btw. Most do what you do. I do think the parental thing is interesting...both our parents do it that way as well, so maybe thats all we knew? all so interesting!

  23. Since today is our 1 month wedding anni, John and I don't have a WHOLE LOT of experience with this, but we are both suckers for all things finance so we talked about this A LOT before we got engaged even.

    We each deposit the same amount into a shared checking each paycheck. This is used to pay for groceries, rent, cell phone, netflix, gas, church tithe, etc. From this account we use also fund our vacations and we've even set up a "blow money" amount for us to blow each month. That is what we can use on our happy hours, coffees, clothes, and the like.

    The rest of our salaries go to our own personal savings accounts. We don't really plan to touch this money until we buy a house or car (we are ridiculous and hope to pay cash for both).

  24. I like the Yours/Mine/Ours idea and that you can tailor it to fit your needs! Bryce and I have actually talked about this some and being that we aren't even engaged yet we haven't made any decisions, but I like that it's something we're already discussing so that when the time comes we're ready for it!

  25. We take a similar approach (fellow sugah momma!) except that all money goes into joint and we each take an equal allowance each week. This goes towards my shopping habit and his going to lunch habit and serms to work pretty well. We also each do some freelancing on the side which we each keep for ourselves for big treats!

  26. Great post, and the responses are equally intriguing. We do the exact same thing as y'all, April. It works really well for us. I chuckled to myself about the Xbox portion. Mr. Smith is always purchasing golf gear, and it would have me fuming to count up every penny that flies out the window.

    It would probably have him fuming if he saw every penny I dropped at Starbucks/Target/RueLaLa.

    I think open communication and trust is the key factor to finances, no matter how each couple handles them. I'm not going to go blow 100's or 1,000's of dollars without discussion and approval from the hub, and neither would he.

  27. We just started the yours, mine, and ours idea and I'm happy to hear that it works well. We decided to do it this way for the exact some reason you did, I don't want to feel guilty about buying random stuff but we want to both contribute to joint expenses.

  28. We do completely separate except for shared savings but neither of us touches the savings w/o discussing first as it's only for major purchases like home renovations, furniture, etc... This works for us b/c we have different money tracking philosophies.

    I look at my accounts online almost everyday to monitor my budget. My husband is old school and tracks each receipt, logs it into his handwritten check ledger and then confirms it online (can we say neurotic?). He will spend an hour looking for a 10 cent discrepancy. So, my finance tracking of "looks about right" drives him crazy and his method drives me nuts. So, this works for us.

    As for bills, I make more money so I pay the mortgage and groceries. He pays for all other bills (electric, water, lawn service, etc..). He usually pays for most dinners out and entertainment expenses. When we travel, I usually pay for the hotel and airfare and he pays for all food, drinks and entertainment. It seems a fair balance to us in the end based on our income levels.

    Again, its all about trust and what works for you. No set rules here!

  29. I think this is such a smart way to handle your finances! We do something pretty similar in that we each have our separate checking accounts but share a savings account and amex card. All of our accounts are linked so that we could transfer money if we needed to. I use my account to pay for utilities, groceries, and things for the house while he uses his to pay the mortgage and dinners out. So far it has worked well for us and actually holds me more accountable for the money I spend because I know I'm responsible for maintaing my account!

  30. way to get the convo going! haha!

    andrew and i do the 'all in one pot' route. we have the same goals as far and spending vs saving, and we tend to splurge together and consult each other before big purchases. only 3 years of marriage, but it's seemed to work out so far!

  31. We do the "all in one pot" method. My hubs works so much that he would never have time to pay his credit cards and keep up with his finances. I am in charge of paying all of our bills and keeping track of the budget. To be honest, I don't even know if he knows that passwords to our bank accounts. The only thing he is in charge of is his student loans, but that is only beacuse they refuse to talk to me regarding payments,etc. This is how my parents do it as well so maybe its learned thing!

  32. This is what my husband and I still have issues about - he hates separate and he hates yours, mine and ours. However joint makes me feel awful so I just dont know what to do lol. xo

  33. Great post! When Cameron and I first moved into together as bf/gf, and up until we get married next year, I pay him a certain amount for "rent" and I take care of the groceries. He pays all of the utilities, mortgage and any home repairs that need to be made.

    When we get married, we spoke about doing what you & Ian do. A joint account for the house, bills, groceries, things like that and our own separate accounts for shopping, gifts, etc. I wouldn't want him to see what I spent on him for his birthday and Christmas! :)

  34. This is exactly how my hubs and I work our money! Love it, and it works so well!

  35. I just came across your blog and it is so great!!

    And what an awesome/interesting topic. I like the Your/Mine/Ours method, but Hubs and I ended up putting it all in one pot - minus the fact that I have one account set aside into which every month a portion of my check goes there so I can make payments off my student loan. We only kept this account because it was already set up with the loan payments.

    The One Pot works for us because we also have a limit - up to $100 spend on ourselves, no need to question or ask the other. But if we're going over $100, we need to discuss :)

  36. Wow, there are a lot of comments on this! Before we got married Bryan and I decided that it was all going into one pot together. (Of course since I'm not currently working it doesn't really make that big of a difference.) We've always lived off of his salary and used mine for savings, trips and fun stuff. We've said that if something ever happened to my salary we wanted to be able to survive off of his alone if need be. In the past this has made it easy to save extra money since we "live" off of his alone.

  37. I love the Yours/Mine/Ours method! Great post : )

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