All Articles Tagged "shared accounts"
When I was in high school, I knew a married couple who shared everything. They had one car, one office (they both worked at her father’s church), and – although they each had a cell phone – her voice was on both voicemails. They were super close and I thought that was so cool. I couldn’t wait to be married one day and share everything with my husband.
Now, that I’m older and married myself, I realize that while I like to share a one person chair with my new husband when we watch sitcoms or a basketball game, we both need our own space – and definitely our own cars. But one thing my husband and I did decide to share after we got married was our bank accounts. I always thought a joint-checking account was a very “married” thing to have, so I was excited to open one almost immediately after we returned from the honeymoon.
Finance experts don’t agree on whether sharing a checking and savings account is a good idea. Dave Ramsey says do it. In his book, Total Money Makeover, he says “When you get married, you become one. Money is a key area that helps bring unity. When you handle your money together, you are agreeing on your hopes, dreams and goals.” Suze Orman says don’t do it. She told Ms. Magazine, “Having a shared pot of money can cause a lot of unnecessary strife and haggling over expenses.” Jean Chatzky stays kind of in the middle. She wrote on Oprah.com, “Everyone needs some financial independence, and often, that comes in the form of your own bank account. I’m a huge fan of what’s often referred to as the three-pot system: Yours, Mine and Ours. A joint account and two separate checking accounts.”
Personally, I like Dave Ramsey’s idea of having one checking account and one savings account. I don’t want to feel like roommates splitting bills and such. In addition, I didn’t get married to still have that awkward, “reach-for-your-purse-to-pretend-you-want-to-pay-but-secretly-hopes-he-grabs-his-credit-card-first” moment in restaurants. I like that every dime is coming out of the same pot: groceries, movies, mortgage payments, dinners out with friends, Starbucks, etc. We’re a team and having a joint checking and savings account makes me feel more like a team. I think completely separate money is a slippery slope and three or more accounts are just too much to keep track of.
Granted, joint accounts certainly aren’t for every couple and there is no one-size-fits all solution for money management. My husband and I are lucky that he is pretty frugal and I am a (mostly) reformed shopaholic. I definitely think twice about purchases when I consider I am not just spending my own money anymore and occasionally I will give the side-eye to one of his purchases, but the joint checking thing seems to be a good idea.
And you know what, if joint checking doesn’t work in the long run, then we’ll change it. No sense having unnecessary arguments! For now, though, it’s one of my favorite things about being married.
We have had one incident that was a result of sharing an account. I don’t always bring my purse places because it’s heavy, so if he has the credit card and we’re only going one place then I leave my purse at home. One day we were sitting in a restaurant and had just finished eating breakfast when the check came. I looked at him. He looked at me. He said: “You don’t have your purse do you?” I shook my head and said, “You forgot the debit card?” He nodded. We were sitting in the restaurant with no money! Thankfully we weren’t too far from our house, so he was able to drive home and get his card while I sat at the table waiting for him to come back. Now, I always ask him if he has the card before I leave my purse at home!
What do you think about joint checking accounts for married couples?
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