Published: Joint Bank Accounts - Blush Magazine, September 2010
Money Matters - Joint Bank Accounts
So, you're about ready to walk down the aisle, or are recently married. Congrats! Now you have a partner in crime! Someone to share life with, build your dreams with, help with dishes, and someone to ... share your checkbook! At this point in your life, you've probably been managing your own funds for some time. Now that you're joining your life to another, you have a decision to make concerning your checking: joint, separate, or a hybrid system.
Joining your two individual accounts into one has many benefits. After the initial transition, having one joint account streamlines your finances, and makes all the information open and available to both spouses. Nothing is hidden or undisclosed. A potential drawback with this option is that one spouse may feel that the burden of managing the finances falls solely on his or her shoulders. Try to share the responsibilities by having one person in charge of paying the bills, while the other balances the checkbook each month, or take tums.That way both people are well aware of what is taking place in the bank account.
Separate accounts are also a good option. If you place a lot of value in remaining financially independent, or if you or your spouse have had financial problems in the past or even filed bankruptcy, this may be the approach you want to take. However, with separate accounts, make sure to create a thorough plan far how each spouse will contribute to the household bills in order to alleviate any possible confusion.
For those of you who are unsure which way to go, you may opt for a hybrid.This would entail having one joint account and two separate accounts. Each person would contribute a set amount to the joint account that would be used for household expenses and other agreed upon expenditures, while also making contributions to their individual accounts to be used at their sole discretion.
Any way you choose, communication is the key. Talk openly and honestly about your financial habits and expectations, and choose a plan together. This is only one of many big decisions you'll make as a team, and it will help to establish valuable marital habits early.
Click here to read the article at Blush Magazines website.