Marriage and Bank Accounts – Separate, Joint, or Both?

Marriage brings about many changes. One such way in which life changes is in how finances are handled. Many newlyweds choose to share a bank account, while just as many opt to maintain separate finances. Which one is the better choice, though?

The Upside of Sharing a Bank Account

There are advantages to sharing a joint account with your spouse. Primarily, getting bills paid on time is much easier, because all of your cash is stored in the same place. This means you never have to guess as to how much you have to spend. Being aware of the full financial picture is essential for each partner to contribute to the marriage and to avoid accidental overspending.

Couples who do not share joint accounts often spend more money than they have. This leads to pressing debts that may make it necessary to borrow from a lender. While it’s good to know loans are available from sites like easychoicelenders.com, it’s far better to not need them in the first place. Instead, each partner gets access to a single joint account. This means they get their own checks and debit card, in addition to having the authority to deposit and withdraw funds.

Another advantage in sharing bank accounts is in having access to the funds in the event of an emergency. If one spouse dies or becomes ill in a way that renders him or her unresponsive, the other spouse still has access to their shared accounts. Where a couple does not have joint accounts, the surviving spouse may have to go through a lengthy court battle to get access to his or her partner’s separate accounts.

The Pros of Maintaining Separate Bank Accounts

There may be just as many advantages to maintaining separate bank accounts. For couples who marry later in life, they may prefer the independence of keeping their own bank accounts. For them, it isn’t an issue of trust as much as it is a point of doing things the way in which they have grown accustomed. They may just be more comfortable with their routine.
Additionally, studies have found that couples who maintain separate bank accounts fight less over money. This is partly because neither spouse feels compelled to defend his or her spending habits. In many cases, each person in a couple spends, but they may do it differently. By operating his or her own account, each spouse can be free to spend according to his or her own habits.

Finally, separate bank accounts may actually strengthen a relationship, because it forces more communication. Instead of one spouse simply paying the bills out of a joint account, the couple must work out how to spend and budget together. Each partner shares what he or she has and together they work out a plan to pay their debts.

In the end, it’s a personal choice for each couple. Certainly there are disadvantages and advantages to either joint or separate accounts. This is something most couples discuss at the start of their union. They choose for themselves which route to take, based on what is most important to them.

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