How to Split Household Expenses

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One sticky subject that arises for couples who have just begun living together is how to split their household expenses. Poor management of your household finances can place a strain on your marriage or relationship, so proper handling of the finances now should prevent future problems. As each person has different budget ideas, you need to sit down with your partner and have an honest discussion about how your household expenses will be paid. If you have separate finances, you will likely divide expenses.

  • Make a list of all the bills that you will split. These should consist of the bills for products and services you both consume, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries and bills related to household repairs. Bills that each of you have for services that are used by only one of you and not the other don't need to be included in the joint bills, but can be if you both agree to this.

  • Decide who is responsible for paying the joint bills. You can have one person handle all of the bills, or you can split the bills in half, with each of you responsible for half of the bills. This can prevent miscommunication problems in which each of you think the other has paid a bill when the other hasn't. If one of you is financially responsible, and the other isn't, you're better off having the financially responsible person handling the finances.

  • Decide how much each person will contribute to paying the bills. This can be a tricky area to deal with, especially if one partner earns substantially more than the other. If you both make approximately the same amount, split the joint household bills 50-50. If one person makes significantly more than the other, put serious consideration into having the higher income earner contribute more money to the joint bills, maybe splitting them 70-30.

  • Open a joint account to pay for household expenses. Each of you deposits your share of the funds for the expenses into this account, where money is then withdrawn to pay for the joint expenses.

  • Develop a household budget to follow to try to keep your expenses down and control your spending. You don't want the joint account for household expenses to run out of cash before the bills are paid.

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