Should you open a joint account with your spouse?

Here are some issues to consider if you’re trying to decide whether opening a joint account is right for you.     

Now that you’ve taken the next step in your relationship and increased your commitment to each other by getting hitched, you might be wondering if it’s time to combine bank accounts. While many couples choose to combine their finances for convenience, some still prefer to keep their accounts separate. Here are some issues to consider if you’re trying to decide whether opening a joint account is right for you.     

Here are the Pros & Cons

Benefits of a joint bank account

Having one bank account offers a number of benefits. Joint account allows each of you to have access to money when necessary. Joint bank accounts usually provide each account holder with a debit card, a check-book and the ability to deposit or withdraw funds. Each of you will also have online access to account information and tools which can simplify paying bills and other shared financial tasks.  

Drawbacks of a joint bank account

While sharing a bank account can simplify the money management system, some couples may feel a loss of financial independence with a joint bank account. With separate accounts, there is a sense of financial ownership for individuals – something we have been very used to before. Another problem that may arise if there is a lack of communication between partners about financial activity from the joint account.

Having separate accounts does not make you less responsible as a couple unit.

Couples still need to work through how bills will get paid and have frequent discussions to align your accounts and finances.

Regardless of whether you decide to have a joint account or not, it is important to set financial goals as a couple. When discussing about finances, it is wise to ask these questions:

Joint accounts may not be romantic. When both partners keep most of their money in a shared checking account, it’s quite challenging to surprise or treat each other to gifts or dates since the money belongs to both of you. This can take some of the fun out of these activities. Furthermore, discussing budgets and bills just isn’t sexy; it’s mundane but very much necessary nonetheless.

Opening a joint account comes with many risks – biggest one may be that you’ll find out you’re not financially compatible with your partner. Have detailed financial discussions to determine what works best for you and your partner. Every couple has to confront uncomfortable financial topics such as previous debt, spending habits etc, but by considering when and how to combine your finances, you can minimise the risks and maximise the benefits.

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