While grabbing dinner with friends, we began to talk about relationships and money. My six friends and I, all in our mid-20s, agreed it was important to be on the same page when it comes to money before getting married or moving in together, but on the subject of joint bank accounts, we were divided.
Half said they wanted a joint bank account, while the other half wanted to maintain separate accounts. I prefer a combination because I want to be in control. But that was not my only reasoning.
Divorce rates are high. Nearly 50% of all marriages end up in splitsville. And it’s no secret that money is one of the most common problems and causes of stress for couples.
Separate accounts would allow me to build up my savings in case I had to pack my things and start all over again. Of course, living in a communal state like California means everything we owned as a couple would be split 50/50. So the savings would be divided, but give me access to cash in the short term.
I also like the feeling of being financially independent. Having separate accounts would allow us to use our money as we wished. We could also buy gifts for each other without the other knowing as they would not be privy to the statement. We would use a joint account to pay joint bills and have a joint savings account to save up for a house and vacations. We would both contribute equally to the joint accounts.
I do not think one approach is better, as long as you avoid banking fees and the arrangement works for both individuals.
What do you think, should couples have joint or separate banking accounts?