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Expert Tells Couples Key To Success Is Financial 3-Way

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Lynnette and Richard Round tell each other everything, but, when it comes to money, even this married couple isn't always forthcoming.

Finances have proven to be the main source of stress for many couples.

The Rounds have been married for 20 years.  They say they have avoided financial tension by dividing their earnings into three piles – one for him, one for her and one for bills.

"It's not my money, her money – it's ours," Richard said.

Personal finance expert and author, Manisha Thakor said the best way to manage the money in your marriage is simple – get financially naked.

"Frequently couples feel very comfortable having vociferous discussions about whether or not they'll have kids, what religion they might raise their kids in, will their kids go to private school or public school," Thakor said.

The analyst added, "I  think one of the most powerful thing that couples can do is consider engaging in a financial three way; by that I mean taking your money and putting it into three pots -- yours, mine and ours."

Thakor explained how the financial three way works:

  1. Deposit your paycheck into a shared checking account for joint expenses like mortgage, groceries and date nights.
  2. Transfer an identical amount of money into two separate accounts for each partner.

The number one problem that it solves is it gives each person some control and each person some freedom.

Thakor said the system works because baby boomers with complicated finances are getting remarried later in life. And, in the recession, the number of women now outnumbers men in the workforce.

In the end, the money maven said it's not about who's earning more but who's willing to bear it all when it comes to spending.

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