Whether you’ve decided to move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend, planning a wedding, or recently tied the knot, it’s time to talk about money.
Maybe not. But if you don’t figure out a system for managing money together as a couple and splitting expenses with your spouse/partner fairly, then sexy time is going to be the last thing on either of your minds.
Personal finance is personal, and there are few places that’s more apparent than when it comes to how couples split joint expenses.
So know this: There’s no right or wrong way to split expenses with your partner. The key thing is to actually talk about money with your partner (here’s how).
Separate but equal
Most common, unmarried (and many married) couples keep separate bank accounts and credit cards but split the big household expenses, like rent and utilities, equally. One partner may pay out of pocket for everything and then collect a check from the other, or each partner may pay different bills that can be reconciled once a month.
The free-for-all (not recommended)
It may be OK if one person pays the rent while the other person pays the electric, cable and water bills…as long as you track how much each partner is contributing and figure out a way to reconcile it.
Too often, one person will pay a big bill like the rent or mortgage while the other is expected to pick up everything else. Depending on how this shakes out, one partner may end up paying a lot more each month. This ple, if one of you earns significantly more-as long as you talk about it and are both OK with the arrangement.
Proportional to income
Again, it’s personal, but here’s a suggestion. If your lifestyle together is modest-that is, it doesn’t strain the income of whoever earns less-a more equal approach might be fine.