Our house money

by Kristina Tahnyak on April 24, 2014 · 3 comments

Money Stack

Good morning Dinks.  As you may remember I have always been a big advocate of couples keeping their money separate.  I believe that each person in a relationship should contribute equally to all joint expenses (not necessarily personal wants) but that doesn’t necessarily mean couples have to combine their finances.

Maybe it’s because Nick and I started dating when we were 19 and we didn’t have any money.  We kept our bank accounts separate because there was no need to open a joint bank account.  We both had part time jobs, we both had some help from our parents and we both had individual expenses to pay; so there was no need to have a joint bank account.

 A joint bank account makes life easier

Or does it?  After 14 years of dating I can say that Nick and I finally opened a joint bank account.  Not too long ago we made an appointment at the bank and opened a joint checking account.  After discussing a variety of factors such as the cost of monthly bank fees and the bank branch location proximity to our apartment Nick and I decided to open a joint bank account with my bank.  Yes that’s right, previously not only did we not have a joint bank account but we didn’t even have the same bank.

This past weekend we were at Best Buy buying some things for the apartment.  When we got to the cash I had three DVDs in my hand and Nick had a game for our new Wii console as well as a power bar.  The cashier asked us if we would like to pay together or separately.  Normally we would pay for everything with our own bank accounts, but then I remembered – we have a joint bank account.

Keeping separate accounts isn’t a sign of distrust

My friends can’t believe that Nick and I didn’t have a joint bank account.  When they asked me why we chose to keep our money separately my response was always the same “We don’t need it.”  And the truth is we didn’t, and we don’t.  In our relationship each of us pays our half of the expenses and that’s always the way it’s been.  It’s not that I don’t trust Nick with my money and I’m sure he trusts me with his (being that I’m a financial planner), but we really have no need for a joint bank account.

We opened one because we didn’t have one, and a couple who have been together for 15 years should probably have one.  But the truth is it really hasn’t changed the way we manage our money.  In our house we split all expenses down the middle regardless of how we pay for them.

Maybe this is because Nick and I make approximately the same income, or maybe it’s because we have been through almost every possible financial situation together – both good and bad.  Maybe it’s because we completely trust each other.  But if you ask me Nick and I keep our money separately because his money is his and my money is mine.  If we were to break up I wouldn’t expect to have a claim on any of his money and I wouldn’t expect him to want any of mine.  Fingers crossed it never comes to that.

Photo by Flickr


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy April 24, 2014 at 2:19 pm

When my son moved in with his girlfriend my advice to him was 1. don’t get joint bank accounts until you are married. 2. Don’t buy a house together until you are married. And 3. Don’t have a baby until you are married. He followed my advice and nearly two years ago they married. Then I told him to have joint bank accounts. Buy a house together. And I said nothing about the baby. My husband and I have everything joint except retirement accounts, which by law must be separate. If you don’t trust the person you marry to share finances, don’t get married to that person.

2 Mark April 25, 2014 at 1:17 am

I’ve been married for over 5 years and together for over 10. I don’t believe there is right or wrong when it comes to joined bank accounts. Couples need to do what works for them. We have had separate accounts since we met. For us we have our own individual goals and shared goals. This is not a lack of trust. I have my way of managing my savings and spending and she has hers. I don’t believe there is one right way, just different ways. As long as you communicate you can still get to your goals together with separate accounts. For us step 1 was engagement step 2 was a pregnancy step 3 house step 4 baby step 5 wedding step 6 another baby. We are still very happy and trust each other. If you don’t trust the person don’t marry that person. I’ve seen many couples with shared accounts race on empty. As long as you have a shared plan , you should succeed whether you share an account or not.

3 Kristina April 26, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Money is different for every couple. Some people combine their finances and some don’t. I think it’s important to remember that not combining finances is not a sign of distrust. That’s a big money misconception when it comes to couples finances.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: