How to share Credit Card 50/50 with partner

Hi there, I haven't been able to find an answer to my specific situation. My boyfriend and I live together and have a joint credit card. We use it for any expense that we split 50-50, from eating out together to travel expenses. Aside from YNAB, it's been working great. However, I haven't been able to figure out how to implement this card into the budget. Since we use it for so many types of things, I'd like to be able to categorize each charge.


He pays the card once a week or so, and I send him a Venmo charge for my half. I can log in to the account for the card and see all of the charges. I tried adding the card as an account in YNAB and manually entering half of each transaction, but it has proven confusing. I'm thinking of just removing the card as an account, and when I make my half of the payment to my boyfriend via Venmo, then using that charge as a split transaction to categorize my half of each charge that payment covered.


Any thoughts or advice on this?

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  • Hi Hot Pink Gazelle !

    There are a number of ways you can handle that shared credit card. No matter what you decide, when you add it to your budget, you'll want to add the actual account balance. Even if the balance is $500 and you only owe $250 of that, include the full $500. It's easier to accurately track the transactions so you can compare them to your bank statement, rather than altering them and trying to piece things together later.

    Have you considered Joining Forces with your boyfriend and including him on the budget? We believe the couple that budgets together, stays together! :)

    If not, you can create a "Boyfriend's Half" category and enter all of the credit card transactions as Split Transactions - half to your different categories and half to "Boyfriend's Half".

    For instance, let's say you buy $100 worth of Groceries on the credit card. You'd enter the transaction as a split - $50 towards your Grocery category and $50 towards "Boyfriend's Half". You'll budget for your Groceries and let the Boyfriend's Half category remain overspent. When it comes time to pay the bill, you'll enter your payment to the credit card as a transfer (from your checking account to the credit card). Your boyfriend's payment will import as an Inflow directly on the credit card and you'll categorize it as Inflow: To Be Budgeted (that will update the credit card balance without adding or subtracting funds from other areas in your budget).

    I know that's a bit tricky, so if you have any questions just let me know! :)

    Reply Like 1
    •  Faness So, I have a question that sort of fits this thread.  My fiancee and I share an account for all our monthly expenses. At the beginning of the month we transfer the total amount that we will use throughout the month. Let's say we each put $300 for groceries. She is not using YNAB.....yet! How could I track these split expenses? Should I budget $600 or $300? I have the shared account as part of YNAB but it's a bit tricky to keep track of those split expenses. Does that make sense? Thank you in advance!

      Reply Like
    • Hi Maroon Guitar !

      Just to make sure I understand, you're adding funds to that account in advance? So the balance is $0, then you transfer $600 ($300 each) to it? If that's the case, her portion of that income will be included in your budget. The full $600 will show in your budget, so you'll need to budget the full amount for those shared expenses. :)

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    • Faness 

      I am new to YNAB and I have a question along the lines of Pink Gazelle. If I adopt your solution of "Girlfriend's Half", will YNAB recognize future transactions and split them in the same way? In other words, is it possible that all transactions on a particular credit card and or chequing account be automatically split 50%/50% according to the previously established rules?

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    • Hi Green Colt !

      The category assignment rules are based on the payee of a transaction, so there isn't a way to make sure all transactions are split based on account. If you always use the same Payee for that card (for instance, if you always buy groceries at Walmart), then you can set a rule using the Payee Management feature. However, if the payees vary then the transactions would need to be updated each time.

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    • Faness 

      If I understand correctly, it is not possible to automatically divide all transactions 50/50.  At present, I have to manually divide all my transactions on our joint credit card and our joint bank account and reassign half of the amount to one of my categories and the other half to "Girlfriend's Share". This makes for a very long process. I doubt if I can keep this up over the long haul. Is there a simpler way? 

      Reply Like 1
    • Lorne Huston 

      I'm surprised that this is not a more common problem.

      Reply Like 1
      • Jannelle
      • jannelle_ynabsupport
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Lorne Huston I hope you don’t mind if I jump in for Faness here! 

      Splitting those transactions is going to be your best bet, but since there isn't an automatic way of splitting, it will be a bit cumbersome. If it helps, you could split your transactions as you make them, and when direct import brings them in, they will match right up to the one you already entered (and keep the split)!

      YNAB encourages users to simplify as much as possible (here's an entire guide dedicated to it!), but I will certainly pass along the feedback that you were looking for a feature like this! 😊

      Reply Like
    • Jannelle Thanks.

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      • Ruth G
      • Aquamarine_Trombone.4
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness Thanks for posting this answer- I think it speaks to my situation as well. I followed your answer up until the part where you said: 


      Faness said:
      let the Boyfriend's Half category remain overspent. When it comes time to pay the bill, you'll enter your payment to the credit card as a transfer (from your checking account to the credit card). Your boyfriend's payment will import as an Inflow directly on the credit card and you'll categorize it as Inflow: To Be Budgeted (that will update the credit card balance without adding or subtracting funds from other areas in your budget).

      Can you say more about this? 

      Does this mean that I import the entire amount of each transaction, split each transaction (half to me, half to Wife's Half) ,  and also import the entire amount of the payment that my wife makes to the CC company? She pays the whole amount with each billing cycle. I pay her my half via check at the end of every month.  Currently, I am handling this  in YNAB by importing the  transactions from the CC company into YNAB, cutting the $ amount in half for each transaction, and also deleting her auto payment transactions to the CC company so they don't show up in YNAB. This works, more or less, but it means I can never officially reconcile this account in mY YNAB budget. 


      Thanks for your thoughts. 

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    • Hi Ruth G !

      This is slightly different. The steps I mentioned above is for when each partner only pays their half - not the full card balance and then the other partner reimburses their half. If you import the full transaction amounts, you can split them between your spending categories and your "Wife's Half" category so that you can still track your spending and reconcile the account.

      As for handling that payment, you could categorize your wife's full payment as Inflow: To Be Budgeted. That would adjust the credit card balance. You'd then to move the funds in your credit card payment category (for your half of the payment) to another category, so you'd be able to categorize the check you write to your wife to that category.

      The other option would be to change your wife's payment to half, after it imports. Then, enter the check you write to her as a transfer from your Checking account to the credit card account. The transaction you edit of her payment would cover half, and your check transaction would cover the other half.

      Let me know if you have questions about those options! :)

      Reply Like
    • Faness  Question about this scenario you describe above. After you receive your boyfriend's payment ($50) and pay the full credit card balance ($100), do you leave the "Boyfriend's Half" category overspent forever? 

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  • Faness Ok, that makes sense. Yep, the account would be a $0 balance at the beginning of each month and we are currently transferring the entire month's expenses from our personal accounts to the shared account.

    Reply Like 1
    • Maroon Guitar Sounds good! If you have an other questions, don't hesitate to ask! :)

      Reply Like
  • I have a question along these lines: my husband and I have a joint checking account and a joint credit card. Most shared expenses are paid on the joint credit card, which is then paid out of the joint checking account, to which we both contribute from our individual checking accounts. How should I categorize/split joint expenses on the joint credit card? If I create a "Husband's Half" category, how do I correctly categorize the payments of the credit card so that my budget still works?

    Reply Like
    • Hi Salmon Sun !

      Great question! Which accounts do you have in your budget? Your personal account and the two shared accounts? If that's the case, you'll budget for the expenses in full. Since your husband puts money into the shared accounts that you have in your budget, you'll see his half in your budget, as well. 

      For instance, let's say a shared bill is $100. If you put $50 in the shared checking account and your husband puts $50 in as well, there will be $100 in the account for you to budget. You'll budget the full $100 towards the expense. 

      As for your credit card, payments aren't categorized - they're entered as transfers from one account to another. Since you pay the shared credit card with the shared checking account, and both are in your budget, you should be good to go! :)

      Reply Like
      • Salmon Sun
      • Salmon_Sun.5
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness Yes, I have my personal checking account and the shared checking account & shared credit card in my budget. So the amount in the shared checking account will be considered inflow that's used for the outflow budget items, in addition to income into my personal account?

      Reply Like
    • Salmon Sun Sorry for the delayed response! Yes, that's correct! The income from both the Personal and Shared account will be included in your budget, so you'll want to include categories for both your Shared and Personal expenses. 

      Reply Like 1
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