Should Husbands and Wives Keep Their Money Separate?


We met with a couple who were having substantial problems in their marriage. When the subject of finances came up, we found that although they had been married for several years, they had not merged their finances.

Separate money for husband and wife often creates problems.

From a practical perspective, it fosters conflict when “shared” expenses become a tug-of-war between spouses.

From a biblical perspective, the concept of marriage of husband and wife becoming “one flesh” speaks to the importance of equal and complete sharing of the family resources. 

Separated finances keeps couples from moving in the same direction with a common vision. Its like two great companies merging but continuing to keep separate financial records. It will not take long before that non-unified company comes tumbling down.

Often the reason behind separate accounts originates from a lack of trust.  If you can’t trust your spouse with money, then it’s likely you don’t trust your partner in other areas as well. Separating finances only puts a bandage on more serious issues. It’s worth the effort to spend time to resolve the real issues.

Shared resources SHOULD include spending money for both the husband and wife that they do not have to account for how it's spent. 

I learned this the hard way. Early in our marriage, I had Carol bring me every receipt each time she spent money so I could track it in our family budget. This led to many conflicts. She finally got so fed up that one day she said, “Travis you are questioning every spending decision and making me feel like a child. I’m not a child! I AM A GROWN WOMAN!”

She was right! As a result, we started allocating money for each of us, that we didn't have to explain to the other how we spent it.

The suggestion is this: maintain one central account all income goes into and build a family budget with an agreement of how all money will be allocated between each spending category. Be sure to include budgeted amounts for each spouse that they can spend however they choose.

Trust me. This will help keep unity and peace within your marriage and financial life.  

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