Combining Finances? Here Are 3 Joint Bank Account Tips Married Couples Need
When it comes to getting married, there are a lot of exciting things to look forward to – celebrations and a lifetime of happiness being just a few of them. While merging your finances may not inspire as much enthusiasm, it’s important to have money conversations prior to your trip down the aisle. This includes any expectations when it comes to joint bank accounts. Below are three tips to keep in mind as you navigate merging your finances in a savings or checking account.
Tips for merging your finances into a joint bank account
1. Consider separate accounts, too
Just because you open a joint bank account doesn’t mean you have to close your separate ones. Keeping these open will allow you to contribute to the joint account but also nestle away some money to spend or save as you wish. In doing so, you and your partner will be able to maintain a level of financial independence.
Depending on your relationship, it might be wise to communicate to your partner that you’re maintaining a separate account to avoid any confusion in the future. Let them know how you’d like to use the joint account (e.g. for shared expenses or shared savings goals) and that you’re keeping your existing accounts open for individual use.
2. Keep the conversation going
Deciding to have a joint account shouldn’t be the end of the discussion. There are still a lot of details for you to work out! For example, how much will each of you contribute toward the joint account (assuming you keep your individual accounts, too)? If your salaries are significantly different, you may decide that a percentage of your take home salary is fair. While 20% of $50,000 is a lower dollar amount than 20% of $100,000, you’re both equally contributing based on what you make.
Everyone should have a budget, but creating one becomes even more important when multiple people are dipping into the same pool of funds. If you aren’t keyed into you and your partner’s individual spending habits and goals, the funds available between the two of you could deplete faster than anticipated. This puts you at risk of a checking account overdraft and can even push your goals further out. Use a tool like Money Management for a holistic view of your finances. The intuitive dashboard allows you to see all your bills in one place, auto-generate a budget, and view your overall spending to see which categories take up the most of your money.