When two people get married and become one, does the same principle apply to their joint accounts as well? Different couples have different perspectives when it comes to joint finances. Some people prefer to keep the your money is yours and mine is mine approach while others opt to keep their own earnings respectively and only contributing to the household when necessary.
Merging your finances is a huge decision because you’re both basically entrusting each other with each other’s hard earned money. Not every couple marries before having a joint account, some may be in long term relationships or are simple confident that they will eventually marry because it’s just as important as commitment.
Before you both take this giant step, consider each other’s spending habits? Are you thrifty or a serial shopaholic? This can be dangerous if any one of you is the latter as there may be a tendency to wipe out the account with just one swipe! Sit down and talk out your financial goals and have a plan on how the money is to be spent long term or short term.
By having joint saving accounts, both you and your spouse pool your incomes together regardless of your earnings and from there decide on how the money is to be spent. There will be total transparency and you know what the other is spending on every single day? There are also couples who maintain separate accounts but share the expense of managing the household. For example, husband is in charge of paying for Internet, telephone and electricity bills while the wife pays for groceries and the water bill. Both pay for rent together with the one with a higher income contributing more.
Another type of couple are those who keep their own saving accounts but open a joint account which both parties contribute a certain percentage of their salary for future expenses such as travel trips, down payment on a house, education for their children and also any emergencies that may crop up over the years.
What if only one spouse is working while the other is a full time parent? Some couples have this strategy whereby the husband keeps a certain percentage say 20% for himself for his work, food and travelling expenses while the rest goes into the joint account to pay for the couple’s shared expenses.
Before any of you spend the money it the joint account, it’s important to talk to each other before making a huge purchase to keep each other aware about your spending. A huge amount of money in your joint account may make you inclined to spend more than you actually can. Always remember what the money is for and why it’s there in the first place.
There are no perfect financial solutions for couples. Every couple works differently. A couple with a joint account is no happier than those without because every relationship will continue to evolve throughout your life together and take time to review your expenses especially during an economy crisis, when a new kid comes, when there’s an increment or paycut, all these will affect your life in little ways that may not obvious at first. Healthy household finances will result in a healthy relationship between you and your spouse.
Always take time to talk things out because like it or not, love alone is not enough because money is known to cause many loving relationships to fall apart due to poor management.