Should Couples Have A Joint Bank Account? An Expert Says The Answer Is Yes, But There’s A Catch

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Should Couples Have A Joint Bank Account

When it comes to marriage and money, picking the right partner has as big of an impact on your financial future as just about anything else. That doesn’t mean you should marry for money over love, but it means that if you pick someone who is terrible with money, you could end up in financial peril. That is why a question we often see is: should couples have a joint bank account? The answer isn’t as simple as yes and or no.

So Should Couples Have A Joint Bank Account?

Simply put…Yes.

More complicated answer… It should not be the only account they have.

While being able to see all of the money your partner is bringing in or sending out seems very important, sharing only one bank account could have an unhealthy affect on your relationship as well.

For instance, if one partner makes significantly more money, it can cause an imbalance of power. That could also lead to other issues if the person who makes less spends money more recklessly.

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What is the solution?

Simple. Three bank accounts (or more if you include a joint brokerage account or other joint investment accounts). Each of you should have a checking account and then your joint account could be another checking account or savings account.

Suze Orman agrees with this approach, per Next Advisor

“It depends on what you have coming into the relationship, but I would absolutely recommend that you have at least three accounts: one for you, one for your partner or spouse, and one joint account where you pay the joint expenses out of it.”

That approach is great, but having three checking accounts might not be for everyone. You can simplify this by splitting up bills and paying them from your two personal accounts. And then, have your joint account act as a savings/emergency fund account.

Example:

  • Partner 1: Personal checking account
  • Partner 2: Personal checking account
  • Joint: Savings/Emergency Account
  • Joint: Brokerage Account

This way, if one person in a relationship cares more about actively managing the finances and investing, the other partner only needs to pay the monthly bills they are responsible for and then deposit a predetermined amount into the joint savings account every month.

From there, the money can sit in the savings account for an emergency or be deployed into the joint brokerage account. But we do find that this is a good practice to have. If your shared goal is to save and invest $2,000 per month into your brokerage account, then both partners should contribute their share every month. Treat it like a bill. Pay that $1,000 and only after that can you spend on “wants.”

https://wealthgang.com/frugal-living-tips-for-financial-freedom/

Conclusion

Even when you are working with your partner or spouse towards a common financial goal (like financial freedom) it is important to maintain some level of independence with your finances. Ultimately, this is a very personal decision and finding what works best for you, your partner and your budget is the way to go. Because everyone’s situation is different. If you married a chronic spender, it might be a good idea to share all accounts for the sake of accountability and transparency.

Author
C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.

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