wickedcherub: (Default)
[personal profile] wickedcherub
O people more world-wise than I! (i.e, all of you, which is sad for me at the age of nearly 30) Please talk to me about the good and bad things about only having one bank account between yourself and your partner.

Currently Adam and I have separate accounts, at different banks, simply because, well when we got married, that's what we had. We share all of our money. (which is good, because I don't earn any except for my government benefits) Pretty much a couple of months after we started sleeping together Adam handed over his bank card to me and said 'here.' (That should have alerted me to the fact that he thought we were more than FWB hey)

So at the moment, I take some cash out of Adam's account and give that to him, and then take his card and use it. (He obviously takes cash out whenever he wants, it's just easier for me to do it) We both have access to each other's Internet banking though he never looks at mine.

*SO*, it seems to me that it would make tons of sense for me to close my account, get the government to put our welfare payments into his account, put my name on his account, and get two cards! Less bank fees etc etc.

For some reason, Adam's not that keen on the idea - he thinks that it's good that some of the money ends up in my account so he can't touch it. He thinks it's putting all our eggs in the one basket or something.

Anecdotes? Anyone?

Date: 2012-05-16 10:23 pm (UTC)
ext_2366: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sdwolfpup.livejournal.com
My husband and I have had a joint account since we got married. It's worked out great for us. I've actually always been the primary earner in our family, and I've never felt resentful or like "my" money was somehow at risk. We have similar spending habits, though, and we always talk about any purchases over $100. I am also the person who pays all the bills (i.e., goes through the act of paying them), so it's always felt like house money to me, and never really "my" money (which I know is sometimes a concern with having joint accounts). I'm not sure how having your account together suddenly makes it riskier. We have a separate secondary savings account that we put money into that we declare off-limits, and then just leave the checking and primary savings as funds for living/vacations, and that's worked for us.

Date: 2012-05-16 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wickedcherub.livejournal.com
Yeah, we're good with spending, i.e Adam never buys anything lol though if he's going out, he's much more likely to take a predetermined amount of cash so he doesn't overspend.

We have a savings account as well.

I don't know what Adam's going on about.

Date: 2012-05-16 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quichey.livejournal.com
I think it is a sense of independence, even though the money is shared it is still "his" account to do with as he needs. I am not sure though - my husband and I have been together for close to 10 years and never have had a shared account, not even savings. We have a monthly budget that I control and tell him how much he owes to me each month. I put that in my primary checking to pay all our bills, etc with. What is in his account is his to do with as he pleases for the month. He would never EVER close his account for a joint one and, honestly, neither would I.

Date: 2012-05-16 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wickedcherub.livejournal.com
Yeah, I totally understand your situation, except that Adam's money isn't his money :D Nor does he seem to want it to be his money. I pay all the bills, buy all the groceries, buy all household goods and clothes etc. He... goes out sometimes, and when he does, he tells me beforehand that he's taking $100 (or whatever) out and spending that.

I don't think he ever buys something without telling me. I think it's part of having no money... he comes home and tells me he bought a chocolate bar at the vending machine :p

Date: 2012-05-16 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] momlovesnoel.livejournal.com
My husband and I have a joint account and for the most part, it works great for us. I hardly ever carry cash so I use my debit card almost exclusively. He can see exactly where and how much I have spent. I don't keep secrets from him but he doesn't need to know everything, right? lol

We've always had a joint account to pay bills and stuff...but I do have a separate savings that I can use if we are running low on funds.

I guess this doesn't help much but I do like having joint funds.

Date: 2012-05-16 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] junkshop-disco.livejournal.com
I'm in a different situation, being the one in my relationship with the steady cash flow, but I agree with Adam. I think joint accounts are great for paying the bills and shared expenses like white good purchases, but I would never, ever not want to have my own personal account(s) too - and I would not be comfortable with my partner not having their own accounts, either. If the fees on your account are steep, I'd look for an alternative account rather than just closing it and merging - obviously we live in different countries so I can't give you specifics, but I looked at changing all my financial products recently and I was surprised at how good some of the accounts on offer were. I'd maybe look at this as an opportunity to give your family finances an overhaul - here several banks are offering cash back on utility bills paid by direct debit, which would be ideal for a joint account used for household expenditure - and you could both pay into it while keeping two distinct personal accounts with low fees and maybe additional add-ons like insurance or incentive perks. To me, doing the best for us both as individuals isn't like saying we're not operating as a couple, it's about making the most of what's on offer, and sometimes, having some separation has huge advantages.

Date: 2012-05-16 11:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marksykins.livejournal.com
Michael and I have had combined finances since 2008, after having lived together since 2004. It's exactly the same as it was before only we save on fees! No horror stories, and if you have access to each other's stuff, you kind of already have all your eggs in one basket.

Date: 2012-05-16 11:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] versailles-rose.livejournal.com
It took several years to build trust until Bob and I got a joint account.We had both been in horrible marriages, but after three or four years we just thought, wtf, we're still married so lets get a joint bank account.

Date: 2012-05-17 12:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skittish-derby.livejournal.com
We got a joint account the year I moved in with him, but it was for a savings account that was not our main account. his paycheck went to his other account, which we could not add my name too. After we moved to New Hampshire, we got my name on the new account and all the money goes there... stupidly, Zac only put his name on the checks that he ordered when he opened the account (without me since I was not in the state at the time)... but besides those blips, things are well, I have just as much access to the moneys as he does now, and we talk about everything purchased, saved etc. I would say that he is mostly in charge of budgeting, but I am glad for it cause it would stress me out. we mostly use cash anyway.

If you already have access to his account, and he yours, then I would say go ahead and combine them.. like everyone has already said, you'll save on the fees.

Date: 2012-05-17 01:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] supergrover24.livejournal.com
Well...after going through the NIGHTMARE of divorcing with only a joint account, I've sworn to never do that again. :)

Personally, I'd have a joint account for joint things--house, food, etc., and still keep personal accounts too. Check with various banks--here you can have separate accounts but jointly, so there's limits on fees.

Date: 2012-05-17 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alice-and-lain.livejournal.com
*points upward*

Having worked at a bank, I'll never ever have a shared account with anybody. When things go wrong, whoever gets to the account first and cleans it out gets the funds. I've seen the effects of it and I wouldn't ever want to go through it. But that's just me and I'm not married! My parents have had a joint account for forever with no issues.

I'm kinda curious about all the fees that people are talking about because my bank doesn't have any fees to have an account, check card, online banking, etc. Unless they're talking about overdraft fees.

Date: 2012-05-17 01:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alierakieron.livejournal.com
Kev and I have a joint account that's where all the bills are paid from, and the grocery and clothes and etc. shopping is done from. But we started having problems with discretionary spending: not that either of us were big spenders, but that I always felt like I couldn't splurge on anything that was completely for me from the family funds. It wasn't *my* money, because I don't have an income as a SAHM. (And it really was all me: Kev refers to the salary as 'our paycheck'.) So we now each have our own account that is our fun money, and we both get an agreed upon amount every paycheck to do Whatever We Want with it. For him it's beer with the boys money, for me it's perfume/ridiculous bath supplies/lunches out money. It has worked very well for us.

Date: 2012-05-17 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frozen-doll.livejournal.com
Ahh Yes. Hubby and I have something similar. Only because we had different banks before we were married etc.
I find it good that there is an account where there is money that he can't touch. Not that he goes and spends money all the time, but it's nice for me to be able to put a few dollars aside and then later down the track if we NEED money for an emergency or want to have a little outing, then the money is there as a little bonus.
I know what you're saying about the account fees though. Grrr. Stupid bloody banks.

Date: 2012-05-17 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] txvoodoo.livejournal.com
We have a 2nd account that isn't easily accessible. We throw extra savings in there, and then ignore it. It's very efficient. :D Everything else goes in a joint account, no matter who's bringing the money in.

We don't give up the 2nd account for a number of reasons — my mom can access it, and through that, I can access hers — important as she's 2000 miles away and is 87, so if I need to get money for an emergency for her, I can. Second, we think it's good to have a LITTLE diversification. Third, the savings thing.

Date: 2012-05-17 01:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] science-of-life.livejournal.com
We have our own every day accounts and a joint savings account. I do all the financial side of things - pay the bills etc, and we have an "allowance" each month to spend on what we want (we both get paid monthly).

Date: 2012-05-17 09:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missdewey.livejournal.com
I've lived with Phillip for nearly a decade now and we still keep our accounts separate. I also work at a bank now, so I see a lot of ugly stuff go down. This is what I recommend:

- Have a joint checking and joint savings account at one bank that you both agree on. Most of your money should go into these. If both of you end up working or receiving money (like your government checks), you should deposit equal percentages of income (like, 90% of both) instead of fixed amounts so that it is fair, since you won't make the same amount most likely. These are the accounts you will pay all your bills from and save your joint retirement/vacation/Liam's college funds in.

- Have a separate checking account for each of you in a different bank that a small portion of your income goes into. Try not to touch it, just have your direct deposit skim a few dollars a month off and direct it into this account. This is your emergency fund, AKA the "OMG you got drunk and fucked a dozen strippers why did I not see this coming and now we have an ugly divorce to pay for" fund.

Right now, Phillip and I have a joint savings and separate checking accounts. Neither has access to the checking account of the other, but we can transfer funds between accounts for paying rent and such. I also have accounts with the bank I work for and I deposit $200/month into those. Eventually I plan to set up what I've described above, which to me is ideal.

The bottom line is, you don't ever want to give complete control of your finances to someone else, no matter how much you love and trust them. Millions and millions of now-divorced and broke people never saw it coming.

Also, make sure you have beneficiaries declared on all of your accounts, so that if something happens to one of you the money is released without a huge legal battle.

ETA: The reason for keeping your joint accounts and personal accounts in separate banks is that many banks (at least in the US) put it into their terms and conditions that if you owe the bank a debt, they can take money from your other account to pay it. So say somebody has all their money in one bank, separate and joint accounts alike, and their spouse takes all the money out of the joint account and then overdraws it for a few thousand or whatever the bank will allow before shutting it down. The money in the separate accounts is now fair game for the bank to seize to pay off the debt owed on the joint account.

It's an ugly world, finance.
Edited Date: 2012-05-17 09:24 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-05-17 09:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squeezles.livejournal.com
I think it's nice having your own account. As far as fees - can you both get an account with the same bank that you have your mortgage with (you have a mortgage right?). We are both with CommBank and I think having all of our accounts with the same bank means no fees.

Date: 2012-05-18 02:15 am (UTC)
venivincere: (Default)
From: [personal profile] venivincere
Keep that account no matter what. Adam's not going anywhere, obviously, but if one bank fails you have another account somewhere else set up and ready to go that you can cram your money into. And if God forbid ANYTHING should ever happen to either him or you, you don't have to wade through getting a power of attorney or whatever it is you need there in order access each other's accounts. You'll have enough to get by until that can happen. <333

Date: 2012-05-18 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sueg.livejournal.com
My seriously favorite financial arrangement is this: one joint account, all paychecks go in there. It goes to pay the bills. Then each person has their own separate account. A monthly "allowance" goes in there for each person to do what they want with: spend on stupid stuff, save for a vacation or a hot rod, buy gourmet treats if the household budget doesn't allow for much of that.

I admit we moved away from this arrangement once we were on a single income but we still retain our individual accounts and would probably go back to using them for personal things IF we were on two incomes or budgeting more effectively.

I think you have to be careful about putting everything into joint, especially stuff like credit, because if you find yourself unexpectedly divorced or widowed it bites you in the ass.
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