Money is a major cause of stress in many marriages. Couples often cannot agree on how to handle the finances. Arguments tend to arise when spouses have different spending habits. Yours, mine, and ours checking accounts can help lessen the financial tension in relationships.
First, couples should agree on how to distribute the income. After a proportion of income is set aside for savings, the remaining income should be divided into three separate accounts: husband’s checking, wife’s checking, and finally, the joint checking account.
Couples must decide how much each spouse should get deposited into the individual accounts and how often the deposits will be made. The couple may decide that one partner needs more money based on his/her individual needs. Whether both members receive the same amount or different amounts, the amount of the deposits should be agreed upon and should remain consistent.
It is important to note, that the division of money into the individual accounts should not be based on how much the spouses make, but rather, how much they spend. Throughout the years, incomes may change as the family dynamics change. However, the amount of the deposits should only change based on individual needs.
The benefits of dividing the income this way, rather than leaving it all in a joint account, are numerous. Each member of the couple is able to make minor purchases without running it past the spouse. Gifts for each other can be purchased without the other spouse knowing the amount of money spent.
Use the joint account to pay bills and other larger expenses incurred by the family. With this system, it is easier to budget. The amount of money used from the joint account should stay relatively consistent without all the minor purchases that the individuals make.
Use the individual accounts for minor, individual purchases, such as that morning latte. The individual accounts should also be used to purchase gifts for each other (or gifts for one ‘s self). Both spouses can feel more comfortable when they are spending “their” money. They do not have to worry about justifying the purchase of a stick of beef jerky to their spouse.
When managing finances in this way, the money tends to stretch farther. Each spouse must budget their own spending, but within their own terms. The remaining money in the joint checking account remains more constant and the finances are always available when the household bills start rolling in.