My boyfriend, James, and I are contemplating getting married later this year…..woot! I’m keeping my fingers crossed. However, one pressing topic that comes up rather often is whether or not we should establish joint bank accounts or continue to keep them separate after we’re married. In my various conversations with married couples, it seems that this has been an ongoing debate for years and will probably never go away.
James and I are a lot alike in many ways; however, we are totally opposites when it comes to how we view and manage money. I’m a saver….hands down and he’s more of a spender. I believe that debt should be avoided like the plague; he thinks that some debt is good and should be used as a leveraging tool to get ahead. I love shopping at thrift and consignment shops…he’s not that thrilled about buying second hand items….he likes everything brand spankin’ new. This type of thing makes me a little apprehensive about comingling our money. 🙂
I know that some people have strong opinions about this. They argue that having separate accounts means that you don’t trust one another and that when you say “I do” at the altar you become one unit and that everything should be combined. There shouldn’t be any hidden secrets. I can’t say that I agree with this opinion whole heartedly. I do understand that marriage is a “we” and not an “I” thing and that it should not be entered into lightly, however, I think that people should sit down and develop a strategy of what works best for them. Don’t be persuaded by what other people think you should do. There is more than one way to skin a cat and just as long if you both come to an agreement and feel comfortable with your decision then it shouldn’t matter if you have a joint or separate accounts just as long as you remain honest and open.
I know that Dave Ramsey wouldn’t like that statement….oh well….sorry Dave.
This is our strategy….
We ultimately decided that it would be best to set up a joint checking/savings account for all expenses that pertain to the household such as the mortgage and utilities, etc. This will be our main account. However, we will retain our separate accounts for personal expenses…with one exception…..we will put each other’s names on all accounts joint and separate. In addition we agree that we will sit down once a month and review all accounts.
I am happy with this decision as it gives us the best of both worlds.
What’s your opinion? Do you think that married couples should have joint or separate accounts?