Our joint account is empty

by Kristina Tahnyak on August 20, 2014 · 3 comments

Money Bank Account

Good morning Dinks.  Do you remember not so long ago when I was super excited because my boyfriend finally agreed to open a joint account…finally after all these years together.  Well I’m sad to say that after three months our account is still empty.  I never would have given this a second thought except the subject of our joint account recently came up in a conversation and my boyfriends reaction actually hurt my feelings.

Join expenses need a joint account, right?

I am not one of those girlfriends who always wonders if my boyfriend loves me and reads too much into everything he says or does, after 15 years I would expect a little more from myself.  However I’m only human and as much as I would love to live in a world without emotions (because they complicate things), sometimes my feeling do get hurt.

You may remember that we are moving next month and our next four paychecks are unneeded because the rent in our current apartment is already paid in full.  Since my boyfriend is in charge of paying our rent I suggested that he put all our extra money in the joint account over the next few weeks, because we have yet to use it.

Should every couple have a joint bank account?

I thought it was a good idea to use our joint account because as of October 1st we will have a lot of joint expenses such as the firsts month’s rent in our new apartment, the cost of furniture to fill our new apartment as well as moving costs.  So it only makes sense that we store all the money for our new expenses in our not-so-new joint account.  However my boyfriend disagrees.

What does it say about our relationship if my boyfriend doesn’t want to keep any money in our joint account?  I know, I know I’m being one of those needy girlfriends who I hate, but I really don’t know what it means.

The first question I had was why would my boyfriend agree to open a joint bank account if he didn’t want to use it?  We only opened a joint bank account because I felt that a couple in their 30s who have been together for almost 15 years should have a joint bank account.  I should have known this was a mistake because in 2007 this is the exact reason why we bought our car and that was my biggest financial mistake to date.

What does this REALLY mean?

After many days of analyzing the situation internally – because I don’t want to let my boyfriend in on my inner narcoses – I decided that my boyfriend is just not used to managing our joint account.  We have been managing our money separately for a long time and it may just take some getting used to for him to welcome this new account into his monthly money routine with open arms.

What do you think?  Could that be the reason or is it just the easiest explanation to make myself feel better?  Nick and I have always been open with our money but we have always managed it separately.  Is this new account putting commitment pressure on Nick that he is just not ready for or is it a sign that my boyfriend doesn’t want to move forward in our relationship?

Photo from Flickr

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ms. LoL of lastingonlittle.com August 21, 2014 at 9:24 am

It could be either, really, or it could be that he is worried about combining finances without any sort of legal protections. My ex and I were together for 12 years, so we had done with other “married” couple did and opened a join account. Bad idea, as it turned out, and legal help was not forthcoming because I live in a backward state. Sigh. So it might be either of the reasons you mention or it could just him being ultimately practical and worrying about if one of you gets audited or something.

Regardless, you should just ask him. Then you’ll know for certain. :)

2 Alice @ Earning My Two Cents August 21, 2014 at 11:22 am

My husband and I did not open a joint checking account until we had been married about two years. We had a joint savings account which we put money we got as wedding gifts but we didn’t use that money really. The idea of a joint account makes sense for us, especially since I am the only income earner and he is in school since otherwise we had to transfer money between banks and accounts which is a pain. But we delayed on opening the joint account because it wasn’t something I was jumping to do because he is not very good with money, especially tracking what is is spending and not overspending. I also had to compete with my own selfishness which would complain to my brain that it was my money that I worked hard for and was now giving him full access to. I knew logically that I trusted that he wouldn’t run off and gamble it away or do something totally outlandish, but I also had a small voice that wanted to keep “my” money as “my” money. Now two years later I am completely comfortable with funding our joint account with my paycheck and it pays our bills and living expenses. We also have our own individual accounts which we fund with a little play money every month. Having the joint account was frustrating at first and brought a learning curve, but over time we both learned to work off of the same budget, communicate about money, and be accountable to eachother with money. I no longer feel that it is “my” money that I am letting him spend but see it as “our” money instead. Perhaps that is some of the hesitation your boyfriend feels.

3 Jon @ Money Smart Guides August 22, 2014 at 8:51 am

I don’t know enough about you to answer your question but I can tell you my story. My wife and I met when we were in our early 30’s and have been married now for close to a year. We only have 1 joint account and that was for the wedding checks that we received as gifts. Other than that, our finances are 100% separate. It has worked for us just fine. We know that neither one of us is trying to hide money from the other or doesn’t want to contribute. It is just the way it works best for us.

Now with all that said, my wife is considering a career change, which would impact our income. We are trying to get a very detailed budget in place (more detailed than what we currently use) and I will admit that having separate accounts does make this process more time consuming. I think that as the months go by, we are getting closer and closer to having some more joint accounts that we actually use.

The two of you have been together long enough to know how strong the relationship is. It’s best to just sit down and get an understanding of where he is coming from.

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