How Separate Accounts can Affect Your Relationship
If you had to ask married couples what causes the most friction in their relationship, finances would be at the top of the list. Some people may have been financially abused in previous relationships, while others have been taught by their parents to keep things separate. Despite this, there are some concepts around handling your money in a relationship that you should know so that you can effectively run your household.
Running the household is easier
When you budget together, running the household and paying the bills is much simpler. Some couples with completely separate accounts will decide who pays what or will make it hard by splitting expenses. However, this leaves an opening for arguments. Maintaining a joint account makes paying expenses a streamlined process as you both have access to a pooled amount of money to run the household.
With a joint approach to your finances, you and your spouse can contribute financially to shared goals. Instead of one partner wanting to save up for a car, and the other for a holiday, both partners work towards the same goals – allowing you to reach them much faster. Think of it like rowing a boat – you will go much further if you are both rowing in the same direction.
When couples have a joint account, each spouse can see where your money is going. This might sound like your partner doesn’t trust your spending. However, it provides accountability, which isn’t present in many relationships. Keeping each other accountable for achieving your joint financial goals increase the probability that you will achieve them.
It’s Important To Maintain Separate Accounts
While I’m an advocate of having a joint approach to finances, I also think it’s important to decide how much you will each keep yourself and keep it in a separate bank account. This is the account where you can spend money on whatever you like, no questions asked. Think of it as a “don’t ask account” or your “marriage saver account”.
Take the time to sit down and decide between yourselves how much you will keep separate while making sure that there is enough left in the joint account to run the household.
What happens if you don’t take a joint approach to your finances?
When there is no communication about what you have or what you want to achieve in life, it can create a divide in your relationship that can eventually lead to a relationship breakdown. It also means that you are unlikely to know where your partner is financially. This can create issues when one party in the relationship isn’t managing their finances appropriately. I believe that one of the keys to a strong relationship is to know exactly where each other is financially.
Having Trouble Raising The Subject?
If you are struggling to broach the topic of finances with your partner, it is a good idea to sit down with a professional financial planner who can help you discuss your financial position and map out a path forward. Engaging a professional financial planner can help you discuss the topics that may be uncomfortable but necessary to cover off for the health of both your relationship and your finances.