58 thoughts on “The Big Question for Couples: Joint or Separate Bank Accounts?

  1. What this survey seems to have failed to take into account are those couples who are now divorced, who had joint accounts. Many divorces are over financial issues. For instance, when one spouse bounces checks or draws down the account, while buying clothes or toys, and so forth, this puts a big strain on a marriage.

    I think that those who manage to stay married while having a joint account, are those who have consideration for each other, and are careful how they use the account. They’re more likely to be happy anyway, just due to the level of consideration they have for each other.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I had meant o point that out, that just like some couples who have separate accounts can be happy, the opposite can happen that couples with joint checking accounts can be in unhappy marriages. But on average, at least, the research seems to suggest that there is a causal factor with joint checking and happy marriages. That may be going a bit far in my eyes, but there may be a correlation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We have always had a joint account. I agree with the post though like you said there are situations where it may make more sense to have separate ones.
    Sadly money issues is one of the top reasons for divorce. I don’t think its whether your account is joint or not that matters , as to the reasoning behind it.

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  3. I think that whatever works for a couple should be the way to go. We’ve always kept a joint account, and that works for us. If I look at things objectively, I’m better with numbers than my wife, but she is far better organized. She likes being the billpayer in the family, and I trust her completely (but don’t take her for granted) to keep on top of things. It’s funny how certain jobs we divvied up while others just happened. If one of us can’t stand a job, the other one takes it on.

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  4. Wow thanks for sharing this Jim. You and I have a bit of similarities don’t we? We both celebrates the day we meet our life partners as anniversary and now shared accounts ❀ 😁
    My husband got another account which he solely owns because it’s in Norway. But I have all the access information. I can practically robbed him and ran if I want 😁 but I won’t, gosh that was horrible thought.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yes, we do seem to have a lot in common πŸ™‚
      that seems to make sense to have a separate account in another country, and I’m sure the thought would never cross your mind to take all the money in that account. Well, accept for this one time where you did have such a thought… πŸ™‚

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  5. This is pretty interesting. Can a couple have both? I’ve been with my partner for about ten years now, and we haven’t even gotten to talking about that. We’ve been living together as well, yet this topic never crossed our minds.

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    1. According to those surveys, it seems like many couples with joint accounts also have separate accounts. If it’s working, there’s probably no need to do anything different!

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  6. This makes sense from the standpoint that couples that are very compatible may be more likely to have joint bank accounts and their compatibility and ability to work together leads to longer and happier marriages. The most valuable accounts, pensions, 401ks, IRAs are probably separate.

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  7. Yes I agree – we opened two joint accounts as soon as we were engaged – one to save and one to live on – the saving one didn’t last long! Anyway the joint account makes sense, especially if one spouse is staying at home looking after the children. I remember a friend saying her husband had to pay for the vegetables with his own money one day – seems a bit silly to have to decide who is paying for the food! When Cyberspouse became ill then he changed one acount to my name to make sure there wouldn’t be any problems after he died. But there were not any problems with the joint account , which carried on as normal with our direct debits etc. But of course joint accounts depend on trust and sometimes trust flies out the door – like a friend who found herself in dire straits as her husband spent their joint money on his new girlfriend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yes, those savings accounts didn’t last long for us either!
      seems like cyberspouse made a smart move switching one of the accounts just to your name.
      and at the heart of all of this, as you point out, is trust. whether it’s in the marriage or in money matters…
      I hope you are doing well this holiday season with the lockdown. Is your family allowed to visit?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes officially Covid is taking a five day break in Britain over Xmas and 3 households are allowed to mix BUT government and especially medical experts are really hoping people won’t do much mixing. My daughter’s family are going to isolate for a week and my younger son and fiancee live in an isolated farmhouse and mainly work together! But they are all a long way away and staying overnight is another thing they don’t want us to do. Most people I know are going to play safe and not visit or be visited.

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    1. Be sure and add that to your dating profile, Brad. “Enjoys walks on the beach, romantic candlelit dinners, and opening joint accounts.” The girls are sure to go wild.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. My husband’s former wife furnished her new cottage with his credit cards before she left and cleared out his bank account. He’d thought he was set up for a comfortable retirement… but we manage.
    The fact that we converted both bank accounts into joint accounts (before his triple coronary bypass) demonstrates a triumph of hope over experience

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  9. We have both, though our joint accounts have 95% of our money. We didn’t want to be in the position of questioning our spouses personal purchases, so we set up “red shoe” accounts for each of us that we can spend on whatever we want. As you said, this has worked well for us!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. While my wife and I maintain a joint checking account, my youngest daughter and her husband maintain separate accounts. While there can be pros and cons to either checking account, a good rule of thumb may come down to having a common philosophy of considerate and practical money management.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t agree on this one (at least for couples who both work). My wife and I have been married for 32 years. We each have our own accounts and then we have a joint account. We each contribute to the joint every month and we pay all common bills out of that account. In our case, we each contribute the same amount to joint but this could work if couples contributed different amounts. The advantage is that we never fight about money. If she wants to go buy a new Jeep (a recent example), she doesn’t need my permission because it is her money. As long as each of us funds the joint, we don’t care what the other person does with the rest of their money. (And, if you decide you want to make sure you are doing something financially – like contributing to a 529 account or saving for retirement, you can just make this a joint expense). This may not work for everyone but it works for us.

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    1. Hi Bob, good to hear from you. You make a good point. The key is that each couple has to have a discussion about money and figure out what works best for them. You and your wife have figured out what works for you, and it makes for a happy marriage.

      I hope all is well – Happy Holidays!

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  12. We have both and I operate all ..hubby can say with pride he has never written a check or used an ATM machine he is a cash all the way, man…it works for us 40 plus years on..he just asks do we have the money to get or do this or that…he doesn’t use a mobile phone and is the proud owner of his first-ever electronic device at the grand age of 74 yrs..he has picked it up far quicker than any of us ever thought and is now preaching to me about what he discovers online as to what is healthy for us…excuse me while I throttle him as I have been telling for years to no avail…sigh…But it all works for us…:) xx

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  13. A reader so he can read e-books and he can browse the internet and make phone calls…We were all surprised how quickly he picked it up having never even used a phone or anything…Never too old as they say, Jim …although I have had to tell him not to believe everything he reads…lol

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  14. Marriage is not a one size fits all. We do have joint as well as separate accounts. What works for you may not work for me. It boils down to who is better able to manage the finances and also ensures that you both are okay financially.

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  15. Interesting topic. Lol, it reminded me of a neurotic friend I once had. Her and her husband had separate bank accounts, and one was cheaper than the other. Literally, we went out for dinner together with our spouses and we got separate bills for each couple – their mandatory rule. Once the bill came, she took out a penlight and a calculator and divided up the bill between her and her husband. That was the last meal we ever had with them and not longer after I brushed them both off, lol. Yes to joint accounts and yes to a separate saving account for those who wish to keep separate money aside for whatever reasons. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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