Just because you’re sharing your life with your sig-o doesn’t mean you have to share everything, intangible or tangible. In fact, I’m a big fan of setting up “Yours,” “Mine,” and “Ours” accounts. Just like it sounds, you each maintain your own individual bank accounts and then have one (or a few) that you share. Here’s what should go into each:
“Yours”: His own personal expenditures like his gym membership, sneaker collection, or trip to Vegas with the guys for the Fantasy Football Draft. Also personal debt, like credit card and student loans.
“Mine”: Your own personal expenditures, like your yoga classes, monthly mani/pedi, or tapas night with the ladies. Also personal debt, like credit card and student loans.
“Ours”: All household expenditures, like rent, utilities, car maintenance, groceries, pet supplies, etc. Also shared debt, like a mortgage or car loan.
And there’s a third type of account that you might want to look into, too: the “secret fund.” In the event that things go south, you want to be prepared. You’re going to end up paying a lot of people to move out and into your own place, or in the unfortunate event that you get divorced. Some could include an attorney, accountant, valuation expert, real estate appraiser, psychiatrist, and financial advisor. The bills will add up quickly. Having an account in your name “in case of emergency” is something you should prioritize. How much? Depends on what kind of guy you’re divorcing. Is he going to be a jerk? Is he going to want to fight it out? Then the expenses could climb into the thousands (even millions). Of course, having a secret fund will have to be disclosed in divorce proceedings. Secret funds might not be best practice in sustaining a happy, trusting marriage, but they have to be disclosed and potentially shared as your other marital assets would. (FYI: you can’t hide a secret fund while you are getting divorced, because “hidden” assets are illegal.)
Regardless of how you segment your funds, make sure you can stand on your own financially—and that you talk through the best options for you as a couple.