There’s a point in the relationship of every committed couple where the financial question comes up — should we have a joint bank account?
It makes sense, having joint finances when you have bills to pay and financial goals to meet makes it that much easier. And if you’re already living together or are married, having a joint bank account seems so reasonable.
But should you really have a joint bank account? Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of combining financial forces.
Benefits of a Joint Bank Account
On the surface, having a joint bank account seems to make sense. And joining bank accounts isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds.
Plus, there are a ton of benefits that can help you and your significant another jive financially together and set long-term financial planning goals.
Accessing to Combined Funds
Simply put, when you have a joint bank account you have access to combined funds. This makes sense when it comes to paying joint bills — like rent, utilities and otherwise.
You no longer have to move money around, use online transfers or cover the other person’s costs until they can send you the money. Having a joint bank account means that you have access when you need it.
No More Financial Surprises
Having joint financial forces means joint planning and a reduced chance of running into financial surprises that you have to deal with.
You can do long-term financial planning together, and use that to help predict and aim for your best financial futures. More planning the more prepared you are.
Streamline Legal Affairs
Having a joint bank account can streamline legal affairs. While this isn’t so much important right now, it can be in the event that your spouse or significant other passes away.
I know, I know, it’s not a great thing to think about. But it is important and it is easier.
Drawbacks of a Joint Bank Account
Depending on who you are, the benefits of having a joint bank account might not outweigh the drawbacks of combining financial forces.
Loss of Financial Freedom
One of the things couples are most hesitant about is the fact that having a combined account often means giving up individual financial freedom. Having individual financial freedom, even in the midst of being a couple, is a deal breaker for a lot of people.
Lack of Communication
A joint bank account can also mean relationship troubles if you and your spouse or partner do not have open lines of communication, especially in the case of finances. Finances can be a challenge for even the best of couples to talk about,
End of a Relationship
A combined account can be particularly troublesome if the relationship ends. Not to mention the paperwork and frustrating bank dealings you’ll have to go through, if you have a joint bank account it means it’ll tack on additional time before you get that clean break.
Untangling joint financial forces amidst a break-up can be challenging, confusing and frustrating. So before you go ahead and sign on the dotted line, make you’re in a committed couple!
Joining Bank Accounts
Overall, there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to joining financial forces and it’s not a decision that you should make lightly by any means.
In this writer’s humble opinion, you should be focused on being committed to your relationship on a long-term basis and you have had to had a serious finances talk — it doesn’t hurt to set some financial goals.
Even if you don’t have joint bank accounts, you can still set financial goals together. And if you do want to combine forces but don’t want to give up total financial freedom then you could consider opening a joint account but still keeping your personal ones.
Do you have any tips on opening a joint bank account? Share in the comments below!
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