Should You and Your Partner Get A Joint Savings Account?
When I worked in a bank I noticed that my customers from different generations had different approaches to managing their money.
While the older guys steered clear of credit cards and loans, the younger ones wanted internet access to their accounts and as many cards as possible. There was also a less obvious difference that it took me a while to spot.
Many of my older customers had joint accounts but not so many of the younger ones did. Even the young couples who had been together for a while and who lived together seemed to avoid doing this. So is getting a joint account a good idea or not?
The Complications When Splitting Up
Perhaps one of the reasons most people don’t get a joint account is because they are worried that it will be an un-necessary complication if they ever split up. This seems like a rather depressing reason not to get an account together but it is easy to imagine people thinking in this way. If you have just started a new relationship then pooling your funds probably isn’t a great idea but when you have been together for a while it is a natural step, I think. Avoiding getting a joint savings account seems to me to be tempting fate, in the same way that signing a pre-nuptial agreement might make a marriage seem wobbly right from the start.
Set Joint Financial Goals and Work Together
On the more positive side of things, getting some savings built up together can help you to work together to achieve your financial goals. In fact, it can help you to set joint financial goals in the first place. Let’s say that you each retain your individual current accounts and open a joint savings account. If you each put in a decent amount each month then you should be able to build up your savings quickly. More importantly, it could be the start of your financial planning together. Doing this might even give you the spark that gets you talking about long term plans and what you want from life in the future. That can’t be a bad thing.
Show That the Money Belongs to Both of You
Perhaps one of the boldest statements of intent you can make to your partner is when you pool your money with theirs. You are basically saying that rather than it being your money and their money, it now belongs to both of you. This is especially important if you earn a lot more than your partner. You are showing them that you each contribute to your financial plans and that you aren’t selfish with your money. Of course, opening a joint current account is even more of a bold thing to do, as you are tying your entire finances together. Perhaps getting started with a joint savings account and working up to a joint current account makes more sense in most cases.
A Question of Trust
Perhaps whether you open an account together or not all comes down to a question of trust. Do you trust your partner to keep their end of the deal and make the account grow rather than spend it all? Do you trust them to split the savings with you if you ever break up? If you do then opening an account together could make your relationship even stronger. On the other hand, if you can’t trust your partner with a joint savings account then what does that tell you about your relationship and your future together?
What good or bad experiences have you had with joint accounts in the past? Would you recommend that other couples do this?