Tips For Dividing Finances In A Throuple Without Being Unfair

If you've ever been — or are currently in — a polyamorous relationship, you know it doesn't come without its drawbacks. Of course, there's the potential risk of jealousy while watching your partner date or fall in love with someone else, but for some partners, there's another factor to consider. If you're in a throuple and the three of you have decided to move in together, there's the issue of maintaining a fair financial situation between you.


As in any relationship, finances can create serious problems between partners. In fact, 22% of marriages in the U.S. end over a financial dispute, according to World Population Review, and that's just between two people; it's much more difficult to navigate expenses when three people are involved. However, with the right tactics, it's absolutely doable. To help keep the peace in your relationship, we have four tips for dividing finances in a throuple without being unfair — from handling the necessities to determining who foots the bill for extra treats.

Keep your finances separate

At first, the three of you may want to go the joint bank account route, but we're here to tell you that's a bad idea: When you decide to combine all your money, you're risking major conflict between the three of you. If one partner dips into the account more frequently than the others, that's a recipe for disaster. A more frugal partner may not be comfortable with another partner spending beyond their personal contributions, or one partner may not appreciate having to justify all of their purchases from a joint account. This is why it's crucial to refrain from conjoining your finances — keep your funds where they are so you don't need approval from anyone to spend your money how and when you want, outside of the agreed amounts for shared necessities like rent or utilities.


Relative financial freedom within a throuple will ultimately help keep the peace between you, which will do wonders for your relationship. It prevents unwanted stress by blocking a huge potential source of conflict, allowing you to focus on the other areas of your partnership. If one partner should suggest combining finances, kindly explain to them your hesitations and why you believe having your own bank accounts is the best idea. After all, having separate accounts doesn't mean you can't still split purchases between you — it just ensures you'll have a conversation before you do, providing an opportunity for more open communication before any money is handed over.

Split rent evenly

Before the three of you start looking at apartments or homes together, it's important to have a discussion about how you plan on splitting rent (or house payments) and bills. To keep things fair — and provided you have discussed living options that are affordable for everyone in your partnership — your best option might be to evenly divide each expense by three. Doing it this way helps you avoid conflict regarding your finances, giving each partner an equal stake in your home enivronment. When the three of you decide on a place to live and sort out utilities, including wifi, sit down with each other to take a look at the total cost per person, then create a payment plan.


You may decide to put rent and utilities under one person's name, and the other two partners Venmo them their shares each month. Maybe each of you puts a utility under your name, and you Venmo one another after the bill has been paid. In our opinion, this option is much more complicated, so we recommend choosing the former. It will save all of you a major headache.

Take turns treating one another

Just because you choose to keep your finances separate and evenly divide expenses doesn't mean you can't treat each other every now and then. However, this shouldn't be something you plan, like being required to buy your partners coffee every Tuesday — it should be done out of the kindness of your heart. It's all about the give-and-take. Volunteering to pick up the tab at dinner shows your partners you care about them and you're paying because you want to, not because you have to. Remember, it's the little things that make a relationship great.


On the other hand, maybe one of you isn't as financially well-off as the others. This is a good time to help them out without expecting anything in return. After all, the three of you are partners, and partners help each other out when times are tough. Odds are, they'll reciprocate the favor once their financial situation has improved, or they'll find other ways to show you they care that are just as meaningful as investing money in a treat.

Schedule weekly meetings to address concerns

No matter how well things are going in your lives, it's important to schedule a regular meeting — for example, every week — to regroup and make sure everyone is on the same page. If someone has a concern regarding your financial plan, this gives them a chance to speak up. Perhaps they've lost their job and can no longer afford to pay their share. By holding weekly meetings, they don't have to worry about how and when will be the best time to bring it up; they know exactly when they have the opportunity to discuss the issue. This also gives them time to prepare and maybe even bring ideas for a solution to the table rather than simply addressing it in the midst of what might be an emotional moment.


Should a problem arise, be sure to acknowledge their bravery for bringing it to your attention — it isn't easy to share bad news with your partner, especially when it comes to money, so it's a good idea to let the person know you appreciate them speaking up. Once the problem has been addressed, it's time for the three of you to come up with how you'll move forward.