I know i’m in the minority of my friends as I’m nearly always given incredulous looks whenever it transpires that I have a joint bank account with my husband. However, for us it has been one of the foundations of our marriage and has almost certainly helped us get past the ten year mark. There are lots of benefits to it:
- We both know exactly where the money is going.
- There is no resentment, we both contribute our skills in different ways to create a pot of money for our family.
- I don’t have to ask to be ‘subbed’ for anything. I’m as responsible as my husband for finances.
- We can utilise both of our aptitudes to suggest the best ways of using our finances as they are completely transparent.
- You can usually find a cheque book as there are two of them.
- If you forget your banking password or for some reason it doesn’t work you can always see it by using your husbands…
Joking aside, I think its a really good idea to get a joint bank account when you start living with someone and having children together as it formalises arrangements and provides a pot of money which is the family money. I’m not suggesting that you give up your own account entirely, although I must admit I have done. There are several issues with not having your own account, my particular bug bear is that it means that in order to buy gifts you need to get cash back at the supermarket and then use cash to buy the gift which is a pain and requires forward planning. I’ve also found that any money that I get as a gift get sucked into a larger pot and then I don’t ever really get to spend it on myself. Swings and roundabouts I guess!
You might find that the easiest thing to do when you decide to set up a joint account is to simply switch accounts to a different bank. We did this and I think it has several merits, for example the different branding of all the cards and cheque books makes it much easier to see which account you are using. I think mentally it also helps to mark the difference which is useful in itself as its a new stage of life.
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