Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Joint Bank Accounts

The Young Professionals have a quick question today: After getting married, do you and your spouse combine all of your bank accounts?

The February 2006 issue of Money Magazine has an article entitled "Spouses Gone Wild! Why Solo Play Is Okay" (sounds much dirtier than it is, believe me). The article is about couples that spend some of their leisure time separately and how they have separate bank accounts to pay for it. It says that in 2001, 38% of married couples had separate accounts and that in 2004, that number is up to 49%. They end up saying that they think that it is a good thing overall for couples to have separate bank accounts as long as the couples can strike a good balance and negotiate any inequities. What they mean is that you shouldn't just spend all your money on a solo getaway with the guys or girls, you have to keep enough money left over to have family vacations also. As for inequities, what if one of you makes more than the other, is it fair to have that person heading off to Vegas for the weekend while the other gets nothing? Didn't think so.

I also found this question on joint bank accounts on CNN Money and after they give a few reasons why you would have separate bank accounts, but then end the answer by saying that you should only have one joint checking account.

I know that my wife and I have always held separate accounts that we use for everyday purchases and then we have a joint checking account to pay our bills from. We currently have our checks automatically deposited into our own accounts and then move a set amount each month into the joint checking account. We then use that to pay our bills and we also pull a set amount out of that to fund our investment accounts at Vanguard. We like having the freedom that separate account gives us while also having the trust and discipline to manage our joint account. I think that it also helps us to avoid any unnecessary fights that may come up from my buying a new XBox game or her buying some new clothes. I will add one thing to our situation, it certainly helps and makes it easier that we make the same amount of money. I think that it would be much more difficult to run our finances this way if one of us made less than the other.


Blogger Flexo said...

My girlfriend and I share a small savings account ING Direct where we deposit our spare change. We use it mainly for paying for trips we take together.

1/19/2006 1:51 AM  
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