My wife and I have always maintained separate bank accounts. It never really occurred to us to do all of our banking with joint accounts. I’ve often wondered what it says about a couple when they make one choice or the other.
It’s not that I have my money and my wife has hers. Since we were married it’s all been our money. If I happen to be short on cash, she’ll just give me $100 from her wallet without keeping track. If her bank account gets low for some reason, I’ll just write her a cheque.
Sharing a bank account feels sort of like sharing a toothbrush to me. It can be done, but you’d have to be in quite a romantic mood to think that sharing a toothbrush is a good idea. It just seems like a pointless hassle to balance a chequebook when two people are making withdrawals. Misunderstandings with joint accounts must lead to the occasional bounced cheque.
It’s possible that having separate accounts but not really keeping our money separate is only possible because we both tend to be frugal. Maybe other couples have to keep track of each other’s spending. A joint account might help with monitoring each other. Alternatively, having “her money” and “his money” is probably more easily done with separate accounts.
Perhaps getting a joint bank account shortly after getting married is a symbolic gesture of commitment like wedding rings. If you’re not sure what to do and you want to be like other people, a joint bank account seems like the right choice.
There are probably some good reasons to have joint accounts. My wife and I actually have one joint account for a technical reason to do with transferring money years ago, but I think of it as hers and never touch it. Does anyone have any thoughts in support of joint accounts?