3 Tips For Married Couples Who Have Separate Bank Accounts

couples with separate bank accounts

So, you’ve decided to have separate bank accounts as a married couple. There are several reasons why it’s a good idea.

Couples might want to keep their finances separate when one partner makes more money or if they’ve been burned by partners in the past.

It’s possible that while couples share many things, they don’t share similar money management styles, or they don’t want to give up their financial freedoms if they’re marrying later in life.

When I was married, my ex-wife and I kept separate checking accounts because I felt awkward taking money out of a shared account to buy her birthday gifts or pay dues to a fitness facility that only I belong to.

Whatever the reason for separate bank accounts, there need to be a few rules for married couples to follow when covering bills like the mortgage or rent, utility bills, or any shared bills.

The Penny Hoarder mapped out 4 suggestions for married couples to successfully manage money separately. Here’s what the website thinks people need to know before moving forward with this financial arrangement.

First, a couple needs a plan for shared expenses. There are two options – either divide and conquer or split everything.

“You might decide to have each partner cover a particular set of bills. For instance, your spouse might take care of paying the rent and student loans while you cover child care and groceries.

Another option is to split the bill for everything, however, constantly splitting the check can grow tedious and lead to bickering or resentment.”

The website recommends couples open a joint bank account for shared expenses. The amount of money each person contributes to the joint account “should be based on the percentage of the combined household income that they earn.” For example, if one person makes $60,000 and the other makes $40,000, one should cover 60% of shared expenses, and the other contributes 40%.

The second suggestion for couples with separate bank accounts is to keep the important accounts in both names.

“Even if you pay the bills separately, it’s important for both people in the relationship to be named on the mortgage or rental agreement — especially if you’re unmarried. The same rule applies to utility accounts. You don’t want to break up with your boyfriend and also have your electricity and water cut off, because he was the only one listed on those accounts.”

Finally, Penny Hoarder suggests taking the time to plan for the future together. The website suggests monthly meetings to go over finances, bills and plan for the future.

“When you and your spouse manage finances separately, you may not see your overall financial picture as clearly as couples with a joint bank account.

That’s why it’s important to have open conversations about money and to be on the same page about financial goals. If you are married or in a committed relationship, you should know how much money your partner makes, what debts they have, and what their spending habits are like.”

For more tips on separate banking accounts for couples, check out the entire article on The Penny Hoarder.

Chris Illuminati

Chris Illuminati is the author of five books and has written about personal finance, wealth, debt management, and entrepreneurship for numerous outlets including Wise Bread, Grow or Die, and Bankrate.