Joint bank accounts – Should you open one?

When a couple gets married or has been in a relationship for several years, it is common to operate out of a joint bank account. So, is this beneficial? Is this the right way to go about things? Is it offensive to tell your partner that you would prefer to keep your accounts separate?

A significant portion of relationship breakdowns can be directly related to disagreements about money and spending habits. In fact, day-to-day arguments about finances between couples are more common than it needs to be.

Is A Joint Bank Account a Good Idea?

This purely depends on your situation. If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, having a joint bank account is not always a good idea; particularly if you don’t have too many shared expenses. However, if you live together and/or have children together, then a joint bank account may be a good idea.

If you are married, there is a high likelihood that you will share many expenses. Generally, a high level of shared expenses will often give more cause to having a joint account – purely from a simplified financial perspective. Also, once you are married, all assets, regardless of who ‘owns’ them or whose name they are in, are generally considered ‘marital assets’ and by law will be effectively owned by both of you anyway.

In saying this, the most important thing to consider when determining if it’s better to have a joint bank account is that you and your partner are on the same page financially.

  • Do you share similar spending habits on a daily basis?
  • Do you have the same respect for money as each other?
  • Have you spoken about the things that you would like to save towards?
  • Is it possible one of you will spend more than the other and create tension in the relationship?