Co-Mingling Cash: Should You and Your Mate Get a Joint Account?

February 22, 2013  |  


Anyone with a semi-healthy relationship knows that being half of a couple is all about sharing — sharing ideas, sharing feelings, sharing time… but should you share a bank account? Well that depends, and not on how much you love each other. Even couples that are head-over-heels in love may find themselves at odds once the finances start to co-mingle.

Many experts (like Suze Orman) claim that money is the number one reason couples argue and the primary reason marriages end in divorce. Psychotherapist Olivia Mellan told eHarmony, “When two people form an enduring relationship with each other, money is always a partner, too. Many individuals have a troubled relationship with money. Then, when they get into a couple relationship, money matters get explosive. Other people may have no problem with money individually; the trouble starts after they’re in a relationship.”

Ask Questions

Before you start sharing funds, it’s best for you and your honey to talk about your existing financial position. Here are some questions you both should ask each other before jumping into joint accounts:

  • How much do you make?
  • How much debt do you have?
  • Do you know your credit score? What is it?
  • Do you have any savings?
  • What are your future financial goals?

These questions may seem like they would douse the flame in your relationship. But after this discussion you’ll get a better idea of where your relationship stands. If you’re in a serious relationship, after you’ve gotten in each other’s business a bit, you can form a strategy to work together.

Create a Budget

The financial make-up of each couple can be different. One person may be the breadwinner, one may stay at home with the kids; one may be a spender and one a saver. No matter what the conditions, a budget needs to be made. Not a budget that you keep in your head, but one that is clean and concise on paper, in Excel, or Quickbooks (if you’re advanced).

Set Up Your Accounts

This leads back to my original question: Should you share an account? Well the answer is yes and no. You should share accounts, however you both should also have individual accounts as well. You’ll feel like you are working as a team by having a joint checking to pay the bills and a joint savings, but you also have your individual spending accounts, so your significant other isn’t looking over your shoulder every time you make a purchase.

Keep Talking About It

Many couples don’t want to face having a conversation about money. But if you want to have a future together it’s a must. The more you bring up the topic and discuss it, the more comfortable you will get talking about it. Eventually you can talk about it freely anytime.

Figuring out your money situation is definitely not a guarantee for a successful relationship. I’m sure there will be plenty of other things to argue about and keep you on your toes, but at least money won’t be one of them.

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  • Eggy

    I have a joint account with my fiance. We’ve had it for >6 months now. It has a considerable amount of money in it. I trust my fiance with my life, plan to have his children, and soon enough he’ll be the one entrusted to make life and death decisions for me if I am incapacitated. If I trust this man with my future children and my life, I better trust him with my finances. So far he has proven himself trustworthy. I’ve never found flashy men or men who are reckless in their lifestyle hat attractive anyway.

  • yeppers

    HELL NAWL…..If Im not married to you, then you not committed to me and the upkeep of my life. WE NOT LIVING TOGETHER…so how Im going to have you in my money withdrawing at your whim. No hunny, If you have access to what I make then you have to be involved with the upkeep of my life and me in yours.. and as a Boyfriend/Girlfriend status that aint happening for most couples : Either way. Especially not living under the same roof…plus not being a married couple you stand the chance of some sheister ENDING things and running off with your paycheck?? Naw Bruh…cus then Ill have to kill somebody. LOL

  • Babydoll 70

    Absolutely not.

  • Kahekili

    I would never share a bank account with anyone. Plus, I was a bank teller once and I have seen the trouble a joint account can bring.

  • kierah

    With e-banking a joint account really isn’t necessary. We do have a rule that $500+ purchases should be discussed.

  • Kam

    My husband has his own account, I have my own account, we have a joint account for bills, and a joint savings account that requires 2 signatures for withdrawals. So far so good.

  • Ms. Kameria

    Absolutely not. When it comes time for me to handle my business financially or spend “my” money, I don’t want to have to ask nobody’s permission or hear nobody’s lip.

  • BusinessEnthusiast

    A lot of people are seeming way opposed to any count of joint account even when married….which seems to explain why money is the number one cause for divorce

    • Babydoll 70

      Money is the number one cause of divorce because they were sharing an account. Some men, “some” get amnesia and spend their portion of what they put in and then drain your portion dry then have the audacity to ask you what you did with the money. Some not all.

  • Nikki

    For unmarried people: Absolutely not

    For married people: These days, they can have a join account OR they can have separate accounts with a joint account to pay bills.

  • Jae Bee

    I would never share a bank account/co-mingle finances with someone I wasn’t married to…watched too many episodes of Judge Judy where she made people look like fools for not knowing that the law is not kind to unmarried couples who act like they’re married. Even if I was married I would make sure that I had my own separate account in addition to a joint account for the family.

    • L-Boogie

      Even if I get married (WHICH I HIGHLY DOUBT) I am not going to share accounts. Seen too much drama. I am good.

  • L-Boogie

    Never. Have your own account and then a joint bill account. Trust issues all the way.

  • ThaVoiceoftheVoiceless

    The answer is simple: H311 no!