Should couples have separate bank accounts?
Does you and your husband or wife have a separate bank account? If not, why not?
The question is: Should married couples have separate bank accounts?
You have said the vows and have started a life together. You may be married or have been together for longer than most married couples, do you combine your bank accounts and share with your partner? Is it true that “what is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine”?
Read here on why you should have separate bank accounts.
Learn and know the importance of being able to have your own bank accounts or have some sort of your financial independence for yourself, and for your partner.
What are the implications?
According to Joseph “Cid” Bernedo attorney at law, “Legally it is advisable for a couple to have separate bank accounts because in case there is any problem or legal challenge to one account.” This means that if one account has problems with it, at least the other account would still be accessible. It is a separate identity which means that there will still be money that can be used. For example: if your spouse’s bank flags the account for an unauthorized transaction, and stops the activity allowed on it, your account can still be used and your family is not paralyzed from spending on possible emergencies that may occur.
On a more personal level, he advises:
“As a partner in a relationship it is also wise to keep separate bank accounts because it establishes a fair amount of independence of each partner or spouse from the other. This is healthy if handled properly, also it fosters reciprocal respect between the partners or spouses in the sense that both become a productive component of the family. Lastly, of course, is that the arrangement paves the way for mutual contribution to the family fund and well being.”
Financial consultant, wife and mother Nicole Suarez says the same.
“I think that having separate personal bank accounts are a great idea for couples. This fosters independence and trust. I encourage them to be transparent with each other about their respective financial standings. This also helps the couple to learn how to be accountable for their individual finances. This, in turn, gives them both a better perspective on their joint finances and perhaps a better appreciation for having a partner to handle things with.”
Pros and Cons
This does not mean that you will not share the financial responsibility of your kids or home.
Our head of content for theAsianparent Philippines Candice Venturanza also comments, “My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We’ve kept our money separate since the start of our relationship, mainly out of convenience—and for peace! I don’t want to have to inform him of my purchases and I don’t think he’d be amenable to that set-up either. We each have a list of bills to pay. As long as we pay those, we get to keep what’s left.”
Some Pros for having separate accounts:
- You will both learn financial responsibility
- Your funds for your household and family are not just in one account, so in case one is not working, the whole household is not paralyzed.
- You will both more aware about how your money is moving.
- You will both be able to track what comes in and out.
- It will foster trust between you both, as well as transparency and accountability.
- If you feel that trust is an issue in your relationship, then this may cause a problem.
If you and your partner are both contributing to the costs of the home and kids, it may be a good option to have a joint account, but always keep one for yourself as well.
The Impact of having separate accounts
In an interview with CNBC, bestselling author of “Smart Women Finish Rich” and co-founder of AE Wealth Management David Bach says, “You should have your own account, both of you.” He tells CNBC Make It, adding: “It’s absolutely critical, especially for women, that you keep money in an account that’s yours that you control.”
It gives women a sense of self and helps be able to learn more about their financial independence. Both partners in a marriage or relationship should be able to also have their separate and unique financial identity. This is especially true if you are trying to build up or maintain a credit score. This also helps give you an identity that is independent of your spouse or your partner.
It is always good to not have “all your eggs in one basket,” as the saying goes. That is why married couples should have separate bank accounts. And during trying times it would be good to have multiple sources of funds, just in case of emergencies.