Being in a couple or getting married may not be easy sometimes but adding the stress of finding a suitable bank account for the both of you can prove to be a challenge. There is a grand debate whether to get a joint bank account with your partner or not. There are pros and cons for both sides. The trick is to get all the information and decide what is best for your relationship.
The decision between getting joint or separate bank accounts requires communication as well as patience. It is important to maintain courage when discussing your thoughts and concerns with your partner. Do not forget to mention your financial goals as well as learning what financial goals your partner has. Calculate how much you make annually and how much your bills such as mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc. will be. Once you both decide how much money you have to handle you can then decide how to proceed. Weight the advantages and disadvantages of having a joint account. Remember, if ever you opt for a joint account, it does not mean you cannot maintain a separate account as well. Couples can take their own individual incomes, which are deposited into separate accounts, later they transfer money into their joint account in order to cover the mortgage and any other bills. Here are some pros and cons of joint and separate accounts:
A joint account is essentially an account under both of your names. You will deposit all your money into this account and use the funds to pay your bills. It facilitates paying bills, as you only have to go to one place to pay them. Both parties have access to make withdrawals from the account, write out checks as well as deposit money.
Joint accounts are perfect for couples that have complete trust in each other. In order to avoid issues, the couple should have similar spending habits in addition to savings habits. Having a joint account generally grants a certain amount of convenience when depositing, withdrawing as well as paying bills.
- One single account to manage
- In the case one individual passes away, the money is automatically given to the other.
- Either person in the couple can completely access the account without having to consult the other.
- May lead to some friction if one or the other is not informed prior to accessing the account.
- Can get complicated if ever the relationship ends by separation or divorce.
- Either of you can legally withdraw all the money from the account regardless of who made the most deposits.
Determining certain factors ahead of time can help avoid any misgivings, bouncing checks and frustrations. You should determine a fair amount each should deposit into the account according to your salaries as well as agree on how much each can withdraw after the bills are paid.
Separate accounts are sometimes the better way to go with certain couples. If one or both individuals have had previous credit trouble or debt problems the couple might want to opt for separate accounts.
- If the marriage ends in separation or divorce, you each maintain your own separate accounts and have no risk of the other accessing your money.
- Maintaining a certain level of independence through the relationship.
- You bring the same finances into the relationship as you had when you were single.
- One may have more funds than the other which could lead to each leading their own lifestyle.
- It could cause issues as one with a bigger budget might want to go out more, whereas the other with the limited budget would want to eat in more often.
- In the case of death of either, the other will not automatically receive the money.
Keeping your finances the way they were prior to the relationship or marriage may be the easiest way to go. Determine a fair way to divide up the bills and expenses that you share. Depending on the couple they may choose to split the bills right down the middle, fifty-fifty or opt for a fair percentage that reflects their own individual usage.
No matter which option the couple decides on, the key to any successful financial relationship with someone is to be open and upfront.