Finances as a couple can basically be summed up in three words: yours, mine, ours.
I have a lot of friends who go by a combination of the three. It never really occurred to me that J and I might be in the minority with just “ours”. Call us old-fashioned or traditional, I suppose. One joint account was all I knew so I never considered another option.
When we first moved in together, our landlord would only accept one check for rent. Enter: “sometimes” joint bank account. We used it for rent, bills, groceries, etc. Basically anything “joint.” We were still in school so it made sense.
One year later, we had graduated and moved across state lines. J had a job. I didn’t. Enter: “entirely” joint bank account. Mind you, we weren’t even engaged yet. Such rebels, I know.
I think what really worked for us is the fact we were both on the same page with respect to a lot of things. We both had a large amount of student loan debt (nearly equal amounts) and neither of us had significant assets (like a house). J had some retirement savings and a car. We shared a dog. That was about it.
We also have very similar spending (or lack thereof!) and saving habits. We almost never eat out at work – we bring our lunch every day, don’t buy coffee. We don’t shop a ton. We squirrel our money to one day be able to own a place in Manhattan.
With the exception of one credit card each, everything is shared jointly. We pay our credit cards out of the joint account each month since we don’t carry balances and really only keep separate cards so that birthday/holiday/anniversary gifts are a secret. Our names are jointly on every bank account – checking, savings, CD.
Those of you in relationships (or even if you’re not!), how do you split your finances? Yours, mine or ours?