Opening a joint bank account after you get married (or when you begin to share expenses) is a popular way to manage finances as a couple. This traditional approach suggests a very direct ‘what’s mine is yours’ mentality.
However, like any decision, there are pros and cons when it comes to setting up a joint account with your partner. Read on for some tips that can help you decide if a shared bank account will work for your unique situation.
Reasons why you should get a joint bank account
1. You both have access to all of the money
Possibly the biggest perk to having a joint bank account is the ease of access to your pooled resources.
2. It’s easier to keep each other’s spending habits in check.
Being able to see what your partner spends money on (and vice versa) could allow you to discuss questionable purchases and keep each other’s budgeting goals on track.
3. The worst-case scenario.
If either you or your partner dies, the other will in most cases have access to money (presumably without a complicated legal battle).
4. The money you each put in the account will be insured by the FDIC.
If your bank account is FDIC-insured, the funds in the account are typically insured for up to $250,000 per account owner.
5. Chores are easier to split up.
The most timely bill payer in the relationship could be in charge of all of the bills without too much management.
6. Joint accounts promote trust.
Your trust in your partner could level-up, because you’ve decided there is nothing you want to hide (financially) from each other.
7. It’s easier to see the whole picture.
Having all of your finances in one place could make it easier to see where you’re at as a unit and what the future could bring.
Reasons why you might not want a joint bank account
1. The possibility of breaking up.
If you get a divorce (or break up) while sharing a bank account, things could get even more complicated.
2. You will have less privacy in your spending habits.
Buying your partner a surprise gift without them finding out can be a lot more difficult if they can see all of your transactions.
3. Not joining accounts promotes autonomy.
Keeping your accounts separate can encourage a less co-dependent relationship, allowing you both to be more independent.
4. You may ruin your partner’s finances.
If you and your partner keep separate checking accounts, you are free to manage your own money without the added hassle of fighting about money, or worse, ruining your partner’s day (or credit score)!
5. One partner could drain all of the assets.
In a drastic hypothetical situation, your partner would be able to drain all of the funds in the account and leave you with nothing.
Why not have a joint and separate bank account?
A third option is for you to have both an individual bank account and a joint bank account. While this might seem overly complicated, this method has been successful for many couples. Allowing you to take parts of each pro and con list and balancing them to fit your relationship, having two bank accounts is now easier than ever.
Whether you decide to open a joint account, remain financially independent, or a little bit of both, having a conversation with your partner about your financial future is important. This can not only alleviate fights (about money at least!), but also strengthen your relationship and promote honesty.
See if a Simple Shared Account is right for you and your partner here. It’s the whole idea of joint accounts reimagined to be flexible enough for any level of partnership (from buying a house to buying a river floatie)