Money can be a very sensitive subject and if we aren’t careful, it can destroy our relationships. When you stand up and commit to marrying your partner, you are committing to being one with them until the day you die, this does mean being more selfless and definitely means a shared bank account needs to be considered. You now need to make most decisions together and having a joint bank account helps to keep everything on the table and means that no secret spending can take place and cause a fight later on!
Unfortunately though, many marriages operate differently and this can cause problems later on. While it is important to have a small sum of money dedicated to you individually to do with what you want, the majority of financial decisions, savings etc. should be done together.
Set up a bank account together and keep your own if you wish but finances should be joint – whether you are both working or not, you committed to looking after each other. The paying of bills and all debits should come off your joint account. Having a joint account is also a smart financial move because it simplifies everything into one. One account also makes it harder to miss account activity, such as withdrawals and payments! Some legal affairs are also streamlined with joint bank accounts. In the event that one spouse passes away, the other spouse will retain access to the without having to refer to a will or go through the legal system to claim the money as theirs.
Some negatives of a joint account include;
- Loss of feeling of financial independence
- Overdrafts and bounced cheques may happen if there is a lack of communication from either party
- If one partner comes into the relationship/marriage with more debt or loans than the other, this can cause friction
A compromise might need to be considered if neither of the above works for the couple. Couples can choose to keep separate accounts and start a joint savings account for holidays, down payment for a house, children’s’ tuition and retirement.
Couples should discuss whether to have a joint bank account or not before the wedding and revisit the topic every now and again to make sure it is working. Either way, both sides of the coin need to be assessed in order to reach a decision.