Should My Partner & I Have A Joint Bank Account? Here's Why 6 Women Say They'll Never Take The Plunge
Without a doubt, one of the best signs that your relationship is progressing is that you begin to share more and more with each other. You share secrets. You share responsibilities. You may even share a home. And eventually, you might share a last name. But if you're asking yourself, "Should my partner and I have a joint bank account?", it's worth noting that this subject is a tad complex. Traditionally, pooling the finances has been a common practice among couples in serious relationships — especially upon getting married. It’s not for everyone, however.
There are certainly some benefits to having a joint bank account. It can encourage the couple to work as a team on finances, making decisions together and learning the importance of compromise along the way. It can force both partners to be more accountable and potentially make more responsible purchasing decisions as well. On the other hand, there are also obvious risks involved. What if you and your boo break up down the line? Will that make things messy when it comes to money? And what if you and bae have vastly different spending habits? Are you going to be P.O.’d when they spend some of your hard-earned money on yet another seemingly useless gadget? Will they judge you for splurging on those Rag & Bone moto booties? (Whatever, #worthit.)
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to sharing a bank account — ultimately, it depends on the specific circumstances and preferences of the couple. But for these six women, finances are like business and pleasure: better kept separate.
Sharing bank accounts has just always felt too messy to me. My SO and I like to switch off paying for things and trust that it all evens out in the end. But I don’t really see why I shouldn’t be able to keep the money that I worked hard for separate and spend it however I want. And he should be able to do the same. Like, he may think some of the things I spend money on are ridiculous (and vice versa), but I earned it.
— Laura, 28
“It’s actually pretty smart to keep things separate."
Nowadays, with credit/debit card numbers constantly getting stolen, it’s actually pretty smart to keep things separate. It’s not as likely that two different accounts will get hacked. But if you share funds and that account gets compromised, you’re both kind of screwed.
— Erika, 30
"I would never open a joint account with someone I wasn't living with."
My SO and I opened up a joint account when we moved in together. We each put in X amount each month that covers joint bills (rent, electric, etc) with a little leftover for fun money/unexpected bills. All other income we maintain separately. I would never open a joint account with someone I wasn't living with and I would never completely merge finances with someone.
"How are you gonna surprise each other with presents?"
Personally, I don't do this at all with my SO and we own a house together! For a while, we had a joint account, but it was too hard to keep track of an extra balance all the time so we dropped it and instead divided up who's in charge of which bills and if someone’s short we transfer what they need between those two accounts. Besides, it makes gifts no fun! How are you gonna surprise each other with presents if the other can see what you bought and how much it cost on the account statement?!
"It feels like a threat to my identity."
I don't get why when people get married, their individual identities seem to go out the window. It's possible to have a joint life together while still keeping some things separate. Money can cause a lot of problems in relationships, and I feel like sharing it is a risky territory. Personally, it feels like a threat to my identity.
— Dee, 29
"We had a nasty breakup."
I shared a bank act with my ex. We had one for savings, one for bills. He never put money into his private act so whenever he wanted snacks or something impulsive he would take from the bills account and "just pay it back later" (never did unless I begged him to).
We had a nasty breakup and I had deposited my share of rent ($600). Guess what happened? He withdrew all of it and refused to give me any of it back.
All of these women make valid points about not sharing a bank account with their significant others (who can relate?). And if you do choose to forgo a joint account, rest assured that you’re not alone: In fact, one Policy Genius survey revealed that one in five people keep their money separate from their SO’s — and nearly one in four don’t share any major financial accounts (including checking, savings, or a credit card). There’s no denying that dating and money are a tough combination. But remember: there are pros and cons to each approach. Ultimately, choosing whether or not to pool your finances is a very personal decision that only you and your partner can make together.