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Single Bank Accounts vs. Joint Accounts For Married Couples

How Should Newlyweds Divide Money?

With more wives out-earning their husbands, the money-earning scale is tipped in the woman's favor for the first time ever. It's no longer a given that what's yours is mine right down to the very cent, and today newlywed Jessica Grose tackles this question on Slate. It feels odd, she says, to be married with two completely separate accounts, but both her and her husband want to maintain some level of independence and not explain every little purchase.

They have three options: get one joint account, maintain two separate accounts, or create one account for joint expenses and keep the rest to themselves. What would you choose?

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sourcherry sourcherry 6 years
What graylen said. I think that a single joint account would only work for people who have the exact same spending habits and attitude towards money, which almost never happens. Someone is always just a little bit more frugal or more consumerist, and that could easily make one feel guilty/resentful/controlled...
graylen graylen 6 years
We have separate accounts, but a very specific budget. We each have "house" money and "personal" money. House money has to cover all non-bill monthly expenses- food, gas, toiletries. Personal money is for entertainment, shopping, golf, etc. This works great for us. We know how much money each month goes to bills, savings (which we share one account for) and additional expenses. This way, no one is spending frivolously, but there is privacy in how your own money is spent.
boredgourdless boredgourdless 6 years
We keep separate accounts, though when we start saving for a house we'll likely get a joint account to use for savings and mutual expenses. But we have found that we manage our individual spending better with separate accounts. We both find it easier to keep track of our balances and budgeting when only one person is withdrawing from an account.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
I'm not married yet, but I think I'd still like to have an account for my own savings... When we have kids, that might be another story, since so many more expenses will be shared. Glad I don't have to worry about it yet.
jenintx jenintx 6 years
I have known people who were entering into second marriages and have decided to go with separate accounts. This was mostly because of feeling burned in the divorce and wanting to feel financially secure in her own right. I'm not even close to being married, but I would want to keep things separate precisely for that reason. I'm an extremely independent person, and I need to feel like I have something of my "own." I know that you can be independent and not need that, but it is something I need.
skigurl skigurl 6 years
We live together now, and we have one joint account for house things and then the rest is seperate...but the minute we get married, we're joining everything into one joint account and what's your is mine and vice versa. I agree with the first and third comments - when you're married, you're in it together - combine everything! If you can't trust him enough to do that, you shouldn't be getting married.
amber512 amber512 6 years
I think it depends on the couple and how they handle their money. Joint can be good for some people, keeping it all separate works for others.
stellaRuby stellaRuby 6 years
We have all shared accounts. If I can not trust him with money they I would not want to be married to him.
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