After 13 years we finally opened a joint bank account

by Kristina Tahnyak on April 15, 2013 · 4 comments

Good morning Dinks.  I know, I can’t believe it either.  After 13 years my boyfriend Nick and I decided to open a joint bank account.  Surprisingly it’s not that big of a deal, although it’s only be a few days.

We didn’t close our own bank accounts, the joint account is kind of a trial run to see how managing our money together goes, and if it all goes well maybe our new joint bank account will become a permanent fixture in our relationship.

Up until a few days ago Nick and I kept our money separate and managed our monthly expenses together. We would each pay our own portion of the monthly bills such as our rent and then we would pay our own bills such as our cell phones.  Now we are going to manage our monthly income together as well as our expenses.  I am not exactly sure how we are going to use our joint account – for savings or maybe our new joint account will become our primary account in the future. But we aren’t changing our payroll direct deposit information just yet.

This isn’t actually the first time that my boyfriend Nick and I have had a joint account.  We actually had a joint bank account when we were teenagers, but it just didn’t work out.  We were young college students with limited income and high hopes of living on our own without parental supervision.  It was very hard to manage what little money we had and our joint bank account was the root of the majority of our problems.

Do you and your spouse manage your money together or separately?

The pros of having a joint bank account:

Two incomes means twice the savings.  When you have two incomes going into the same joint bank account you have twice the money to manage and double the disposable income.  I know that having a joint bank account doesn’t change the amount of income coming in but for some reason money always looks better when it’s doubled up.

It can bring a couple closer together. Now that we have a joint bank account Nick and I have to manage our money together.  We have to learn how to budget as a couple, watch our spending and consider each other in our financial decisions.  Nick and I already do this for the most part but now we have to do it together.

The cons of having a joint bank account:

The exact reasons why it’s good to have a joint bank account are the same reasons why it’s not such a great idea for couples to have a joint bank account.  Managing money as a couple can be just as hard on a couple as it can be a blessing.

How you manage your money as a couple all depends on how you communicate together. If you are open in the planning and managing of your money then your relationship will be ok…and so will your money.

What is your number one tip for couples who open a joint bank account?

Photo by jeremy vandel

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle April 15, 2013 at 11:22 am

Definitely talk about money! W and I have joint accounts and it’s been this way for a long time.

2 Jake Erickson April 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm

My wife and I have joint accounts and manage our money together. It’s great to be on the same page and know how much money you have and how much you spent. One major benefit we found when we joined accounts was that we needed less “extra money” for expenses. When we had individual accounts we each would keep $2,000 at least in our accounts “just in case” something came up. We now only keep between $2,000 to $3,000 total in our joint account. This freed up an extra $1,000-$2,000 right away (granted it was a one-time benefit).

The biggest piece of advice I can give when joining accounts is to have a budget. If you don’t have a budget then you are more likely to fight over each expense. When you have a budget there will be less arguments because the question that should end the argument is, do we have it in the budget or not?

3 William @ Bite the Bullet April 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm

We’ve always had separate joint accounts. The one running the household finances (used to be her, not it’s me) gets everything and makes sure the other account always has something in it. The other one just spends :) No, not really. We’ve been married over 40 years, so we think alike (frugally) and we each know the other one’s not going to waste the money. I often surprise her by slipping her account an extra $50 and she’s always happy to discover it there when she does her reconciliation. Then she takes me out to lunch with it, so everybody wins. :)

4 James April 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Slow to integrate, now you’ve got to get a marriage proposal!

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