Should Married Couples Have Joint or Independent Finances? Here Are the Top 10 Insights

Money is a complicated issue for many people, and never more so than for newly married couples or partners. Anybody in a long-term relationship will tell you how difficult it is to share an equitable understanding of all financial matters. 

There are several factors when considering a couple’s finance management. Where do they live? Who’s name is on the property deeds? How old are both members of the relationship? 

To see this debate’s nuances, the Internet has no shortage of online discussions. One, in particular, asked whether couples prefer joint or independent finances. Here are some insights into modern couples’ fiscal philosophy. 

1. Why Wouldn’t You?

For older couples, joint finances are not even a question. One commenter explains how he married his wife 26 years prior and combined both bank accounts. Others agree that both accounts should always stay joined if marriage happens.  

2. Okay, Boomer

A sizeable cross-section of this online community says they see bank account unions as an antiquated means of controlling the other partner. In a frank admission, one woman explains how when this is evident, she does an “‘okay, boomer’s eye-roll.”

3. Separate Accounts Are Easier

There is a difference between a joint holding account and an account used for combined savings, which is one example of how things can work. Younger couples understand digital banking better than others, saying this takes five minutes a month to organize. 

4. Piece of Mind

Some women prefer financial independence because they crave security if things go south. By keeping a joint account solely for expenses like mortgages, phone bills, and utilities, some couples are free to spend what they like. 

5. Credit Scores Matter

Deeper into the discussion, the divorce-shaped elephant in the room emerged. A common issue was how one member might destroy their credit score. Other people agree they must protect their financial future if they get divorced.

6. Generation Z Doesn’t Mess Around

Is matrimony a life-long commitment anymore? With marriages in the United States averaging below eight years, romance is becoming fraught with reality. Most young female earners don’t want to tie themselves or their earnings to a man if separation is a reality. Likewise, some males don’t want to risk their assets. 

7. It Depends on Who Is Earning The Most

For some, ensuring your partner has enough to pay for family resources such as medical and groceries. One father of two concluded that his wife is a fantastic stay-at-home mom who trusts him to make financial decisions and receives a weekly allowance for whatever she needs. 

8. Separate Accounts Alleviate Risk

Unfortunately, not all people make good romantic decisions. Some men may marry a woman who has a secret shopping addiction; some women marry men with vices such as gambling, drinking, or eating out. Younger people feel less pressure when their finances are out of harm’s way. 

9. Retail Therapy for the Win

For any couple, it is important to value each other’s happiness. As any husband knows, a happy wife is a happy life. According to one happily-married man, his wife deposits 10% of her earnings into a shopping fund. This gives her a chance to unwind when retail therapy is needed. 

10. A Question of Trust

This is where the thread diverges. Maybe this dynamic is generational, but there are two schools of thought on what arrangement shows trust. Some argue that joint accounts show that one is trying to control the other, whereas some say separate accounts spawn a lack of faith. 

This thread inspired this post.

This article first appeared on The Cents of Money.

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