Money is not the most romantic thing to talk about, but it can make or break your relationship. This week on the Fox 59 Morning News I talked to Ray Cortopassi about my thoughts on joint bank accounts vs. separate bank accounts. Watch the clip below courtesy of Fox 59 to hear my thoughts on this controversial topic.
Traditionally a couple would get married and join their money into one account. To not share a bank account meant the relationship wouldn’t last or that there wasn’t trust in the relationship. While it’s possible those things are true of some relationships, that isn’t true of every couple. I don’t believe that separate bank accounts mean the relationship is in trouble, in fact, I believe separate accounts can be a good thing.
Having separate bank accounts means you have two bank accounts but you still consider all the money to be “ours”. There is no “my money” vs. “your money” you are in a partnership and the money, regardless of what account it’s in, is both of yours. My wife and I have been using separate accounts for a few years and it really works for us. We keep money for everyday spending in one account and in the other account we keep money for bigger bills and expenses. The best part about having two accounts is that it makes us communicate about our finances. We meet once a month to talk about our money and together we determine how much money needs to go in each account. We also have access to each other’s account. This isn’t about having secret money hidden away, this is about making good decisions with your money together.
Money habits can be hard to break, and as adults continue to get married later and later in life, having separate accounts can help keep the peace. Jumping into a joint account in a new marriage or partnership can cause a lot of tension. Separate accounts can be a nice way for you to share your money without getting caught up in your differences. Most importantly it will get you talking about money and where it goes. I’ve found that having separate accounts is a great way to help two people be more mindful of their money.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.