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Joint Bank Accounts: I do or I don’t?
So you’ve already said “I do” to your partner. Now, both of you are making plans for the next 5 years of your life. Eventually, you see yourself asking this BIG Question: “Should couples have a joint or separate bank account?”
Our answer is YES…and NO…to both. Confused? Don’t be, it’ll all make sense soon enough. Keep reading below to find out the bank account equation that will keep your marriage financially successful!
While it may seem scary to take the leap into merging your finances, here we will break down the pros of having a joint bank account, and the cons that may have you wanting to keep your accounts separate.
THE GOOD PART (PROS)
Indeed, it is just simpler to have a joint bank account to pay these sorts of bills. Instead of Venmo-ing your partner for your monthly utility expenses, it will already be done for you. So, while it may take a larger overall conversation to start up the joint bank account, it also relieves some financial stress from the relationship as well.
For example, you’ll no longer argue over those petty end of the month reminders: “Hey, did you pay me for the phone bill this month yet?” And if avoiding arguments about money isn’t #GOALS, then we don’t know what is!
BETTER MONEY MANAGEMENT
As a married couple, odds are you’ll begin to have financial goals that you will want to accomplish together. Whether it’s saving up for a home, buying a new car, or saving up for your dream vacation, it’s much easier to plan for these things when your finances are already combined, right?
Together you can agree upon the number you need to achieve your joint goal. For this reason, not only will you achieve your goal faster together, but it will also strengthen your marital bond. In other words, it’s a WIN-WIN for both of you!
AVOID BANK FEES
While many banks have fees for minimums or overdrafts, you’re less likely to fall into these traps if you’ve got two sources of income streaming into your bank account. Because let’s face it: two incomes work better than one.
THE BAD PART (CONS)
LOSS OF PRIVACY
Scared that your questionable spending habits are about to come to light? It’s true that sharing a joint bank account may feel like you’re about to be interrogated on why you spend so much money on designer clothing and dairy-free ice cream! And while that’s not a desirable situation, keep reading below to find out our recommendation for having a joint bank account AND maintaining financial privacy- the best of both worlds!
While it might be preferable that both partners in a marriage make the same amount of money, this is rarely the case. The financial arguments might still come up in a joint account situation given that one partner is not able to contribute as much to the joint bank account as the other. Therefore, this is a discussion that the two of you can have to figure out exactly how much needs to be contributed to the joint bank account.
In particular, if both couples contribute $2000 per month, then all joint costs are covered. Or perhaps you agree that both couples need to contribute 60% of their income to the joint account to make things work. Whatever decision you make, fingers crossed that it ends in more peace of mind rather than more arguments.
If you’re newly married your mind might never jump to this worst-case scenario, however, it is a realistic situation to consider. If your finances are merged, what will happen in the case of divorce? It’s true this could be a big headache, but odds are it’s something your divorce lawyers will be trained to handle responsibly if it ever comes to that. We certainly hope not anyway!
Having a joint account will give you the benefits of convenience, better money management and fewer chances of fees. However, you may also have to deal with the loss of privacy, unfairness and complicated breakups.
Above everything thing else, every couple is different. Deciding whether to have a joint or separate bank account will completely be up to both of you. We’re encouraging you to check out these 3 Easy Tips to Achieve Financial Balance In Your Marriage.
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