Date of this Version



© 1983, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This publication describes various ways of managing the income of two earners in the same household, including the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Two earners in the household pose additional problems for the money management system. Should each person have money that is not accountable to the other -- money that is one's own? How are the bills to be paid? Should they be divided down the middle with each spouse taking responsibility for separate items (one gets the mortgage, the other the car payment), or is one partner responsible for all the basics and the other for the frills? Should the partner who makes the greater income have veto or tiebreaker power in money decisions? Will you live on one income and save the second for a special purpose, such as a down payment of a house or for a retirement fund? There are serious questions that need to be discussed by both partners. No one system will fit everyone, because individual needs, values, skills, interests, attitudes and personalities differ. Work out a plan that feels right for you. Whatever you choose -- decide on it together. And, if the first plan you draw up doesn't work, change it until it fits your situation.