Joint or Seperate Bank Accounts

Posted 02-16-2013 at 08:32 PM by Krista

I was talking to a friend this evening, and she mentioned that she and her husband have a joint account and her friends think it’s odd that she doesn’t have her own account. I got to wondering who has a joint checking account—and do people you know think it’s odd? If you have separate accounts, was this an issue for you and your spouse?

To some people, it’s no big deal how you do the accounts. To others, not having a joint (or separate) accounts is linked to personal security and or/trust. So, I was curious what others have to say on the matter.

My husband and I have a joint account. The only account I have in my name only is an IRA, and I would have done that jointly if I could have. Why? Well, for one, I don’t work. Oh, wait, let me rephrase that: I don’t get paid for the work that I do. That hasn’t always been the case, but at least right now it doesn’t make any sense for me to open my own account. What would I put in it?

Of course, we have had joint account ever since we were married, even when I was working. It was very important to my husband. He felt, like many do, that a joint account is a sign of a couple who have joined their lives. I resisted, because my parents had separate accounts, but it was a fight that he won. I will have to remember that next time he says I never let him win an argument!

It has worked well for us. It didn’t in the beginning, because it takes some work to combine two people’s bills and bank ledgers. Now, though, I cannot imagine the headache of trying to split the bills when we have two separate incomes. I think once you become accustomed to something, it’s easier to just keep the status quo. Plus, I like that, at least when it comes to the finances, that we’re a united front.

Filed Under: General


12 Responses to “Joint or Seperate Bank Accounts”

  1. OsMommy on March 8th, 2013 9:31 pm

    All of our accounts are mutual with the exception of a savings account that my husband and fil opened together many years ago. It is still hooked to our primary account bc my fil helps us out every now and again if we fall short since I’m a sahm and my husband is working full time plus going to school. It doesn’t bother me so I’ve never made a big deal out of it. Our account have been mutual since we moved in together about a year and a half before we got married (we were completely committed to one another at that point).

  2. Rdesonia on March 8th, 2013 11:07 pm

    I’m a SAHM. DH works. We have a joint account that a majority of the paycheck goes into. We also have a joint savings account. We each have separate accounts. DH gets his “fun $” in his.
    I get my fun $, grocery $, kids clothing allowances, diaper $, and household or personal hygiene $. I typically buy these things and it is easier. We did this because we each have different ideas about money. He thinks if I’m budgeted a certain amount each month for buying my son (who is 10) clothes…if I don’t spend it that month it should go to savings. I think he needs a majority of his clothing right before school starts so budgeting it out monthly and then taking it back forces me to spend it on things he doesn’t need so I don’t “lose” it. Plus I like the incentive of having more fun $ if I coupon, meal plan, etc. It was just easier for us to split up certain things so there is no argument. I can “save up” to buy school clothes or buy when I catch a sale.
    Plus it was a HUGE hassle to separate out the receipts at the end of the month. I felt very “nickle and dimed” as I had to explain each purchase and what it was and what category it fit into. I completely understood that we needed a budget but I might have 4 different categories on one receipt if I went to Walmart and bought food, cleaning supplies, fabric, and a t-shirt for my son. So having a separate account gives me a little bit of empowerment with money. It’s mine. I don’t have to ask for it. I don’t have to make accounting of it. I can put it into savings if I have leftovers or let it build up in my account. It is easier and I’ve not “gone over” since we started this. I’ve not ever had to ask DH for money out of our joint account or our savings to buy something.

    Our joint account is easier to manage as only bills are paid from it and anything leftover is easily transferred to savings.

  3. sharon_k on March 9th, 2013 5:35 am

    I’m a SAHM as well, and DH works. Before we were married we each had our own separate accounts. Once we were married we opened a joint account a deposited all of our wedding $$. Lol Anyway, after I stopped working I kept my account. When DH gets paid it auto deposits to his checking account. I leave him with his weekly $, and transfer the rest to out joint account. I take care of all the finances, my husband just lent have the time. I use my own checking account for when I need to write actual checks. I transfer $ into it, and so I know it’s safe there & DH won’t look at our joint and see there’s a lot of $ and use it for one thing, not knowing a few checks are going to clear. So for us it’s not really about trust, it’s about what works for how I like to do my banking :)

  4. paaterzone on March 9th, 2013 11:13 am

    Both my husband and I work outside of the home and we each have a credit union account that our individual paychecks get deposited into. However, they are both joint accounts. (We keep both for diversity and because of the different benefits that come with each credit union.)It was very important at the beginning of our marriage to combine our finances; as you stated, for us it’s a sign that we’re a united front. It took some adjusting and some “intense fellowship” when we were first married to agree on our budget and prioritize our spending, but after 11 years we have merged our financial philosophies and money is rarely the subject of any argument anymore. I truly believe this has a lot to do with the fact that we don’t separate our deposits or financial responsibilities into his and hers. It may not work for everyone but it is the best solution for us!

  5. abunchoflemons on March 10th, 2013 8:32 pm

    all but iras/401k are joint. definitely trust thing. im on kids accounts but all linked in card & online. my hubby makes money currently & i manage.

  6. abunchoflemons on March 10th, 2013 8:34 pm

    oh 401k through hubby work before we knew each other. my ira as fob from my dad was before i know hubby but just for me.

  7. Justplaintiffany on March 11th, 2013 10:26 am

    We have both. We have a shared account that we use for most things. Then we each have our own separate accounts and credit cards. It’s not a matter of trust or anything for us. Just easier.

  8. Nerissa on March 11th, 2013 1:30 pm

    All our accounts are joint accounts–checking, savings except one account that has some stocks that is in my name only (had it before we were married) but my DH has full access. Knows all the passwords. My IPERS (retirement through work) is in my name only.

  9. Taisleychick on March 12th, 2013 1:24 pm

    All of our accounts are joint as well. There have been times when finances were really tight. If we had had separate accounts, separate accounts would have been really hard for us to budget and keep our communication and accountability strong. Having a joint account keeps our marriage stronger – we feel like we’re partnering over every dollar and deciding together what to do with our money. I feel like it works really well for us. We also have our budget in a google doc, so we both look at it and update it and it keeps us on the same page to curb any unplanned, unbudgeted or impulse buying.

  10. BigSamsMom on March 13th, 2013 6:33 am

    Joint savings and checking here. I happen to earn 2/3 of our total income, while DH earns 1/3. Our paychecks are auto deposited with 15% of each paycheck going into savings, and we never miss it. Our retirement accounts are not joint, but we are each other’s beneficiary on those accounts. I think it is odd when married couples don’t have joint checking. If we need to make discretionary purchases for b-days or Christmas, we just use a credit card instead. That way the statement arrives after the gift is given.

  11. kristinco on March 13th, 2013 1:59 pm

    We have both joint and separate. Both paychecks get deposited into the joint account and all household expenses, kid expenses, and credit card payments come out of that. We have separate savings/checkings for fun money, gift money from our parents, etc… I totally trust my hubby, in fact I do ALL the money management, so I guess I should say he trusts me. I could totally liquidate and run off if I wanted. With that being said, I have heard too many tales of women being left penniless by their hubbies who have drained the account or closed credit cards. I will ALWAYS have a credit card in my name only as well as a checking/savings account with an emegency fund. No one plans for their hubbby to run off with a floozy, or whatever horrible circumstance, so I will always make darned sure that I can support myself and kids on my own if needed. :)

  12. kjlarson on March 15th, 2013 5:31 pm

    My DH and I have had a joint account since we were married. I work PT and he works FT, although that has never made a difference. Why go to the extra trouble of divying bills and balancing multiple accounts? We don’t have “my” money and “his” money. If we each need some spending money, we put it in the budget (yes, I actually do this on excel spreadsheet) and take it out in cash. Works for us; and I agree that it makes us feel more united.

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