Prior to me getting married, I knew that I wanted to share bank accounts with my husband. As we approach our sixth anniversary, I am even more convinced that our traditional joint account was the best decision we have ever made as a young couple.
Money tends to be the source of many marital problems. It is inevitable that sometimes we don’t have enough as a couple or we have just enough to cover the bills. However, there has never been an issue surrounding our joint account.
The real question here is if you do not trust your spouse to share accounts why even get married in the first place. Most people make this mistake and do not discuss money prior to marriage. This is setting yourself up for financial failure.
We have all been raised in different homes, with different work ethics, morals, and financial education. The average person is not educated about how to use money, credit, savings, or investments. Beyond falling in love, there needs to be a real conversation about what finances would look like if you decided to say “I DO”.
Most avoid this discussion because it is so unpleasant. We avoid this conversation in fear that you discover your partner has horrible credit, a ton of student loans, credit card debt or just plain has no clue about money. If money is the number one cause of divorce why wouldn’t you spend some time discussing that hard topic?
Unfortunately love does not resolve money issues, and especially young couples need to know. Not knowing the spending habits of your partner can cause you unnecessary strain in your marriage. I am a huge advocate for joining accounts. I have heard friends say, they will have a joint account and then separate individual accounts for their own expenses. That to me is a sign of reservation in that you are not too sure about this individual, what if they changed their minds and took all the money?
There is a sense of doubt in not trusting your partner to allow you to use the money for minimal shopping etc. For us, we had common financial goals so something as little as donating money for a special cause can be done form our joint account. We have both a savings and checking account. Once the bills are paid and I transfer some money in the savings, I inform my husband that there is still money to be used if he needed a shirt or something affordable.
There are months we are stretched too thin, so I will just tell him, whatever you need just postpone to the following month. For six years it has never been a problem and he has made me the steward over our money paying all the bills, paying for our vacations and engaging in investments.
More than just avoiding financial problems, I believe a joint account creates transparency. Unfortunately, infidelity openly exists and when people have their own money it is easy to wine and dine others without the other spouse being aware.
Some partners take a whole vacation without their partner being aware because they have that flexibility to do so. Not saying a joint account will prevent infidelity but it is a lot more difficult to get creative with that money. Our money being together has forced us to communicate often about our financial goals, debt repayments, and future endeavors.