Monday, May 10, 2010

The Case for Joint Bank Accounts

The other day I was researching ways to become paperless via the suggestion of young mogul and I stumbled upon a few articles about joint bank accounts (I know blame my a.d.d)

Here is the first: Which Should You Choose: Joint or Separate Finances?


Got My Mind on My Money and My Money On My Mind

While I always try to keep an open mind about how a marriage should work, I was a bit disturbed about the reasons behind keeping separate bank accounts once you are married. I personally believe your accounts should be joint and in a second I will explain why. Before that, however I want to point out a few interesting facts about some of the comments in both these post that just boggled my mind.

1. A lot of people are shacking up - Now before I go on being judgmental, I too was once a shacker-upper at one point in time (until God delivered my brain). When I look back I realize how much I was setting myself up for disaster, needless to say me and that guy aren't together. How can you begin to rap your mind around sharing bank accounts when you can't even commit to each other as partners for life? I think if I was just living with someone I would be a bit hesitant to share my bank account too. Hey I didn't work this hard to get outta debt for you to come mess it up (figuratively speaking)

2. People are dating each other way to long - I am a firm believer of getting to know a person but I saw comments that read "my boyfriend of 8 years" or my girlfriend of 4 years ect...... what the heck last time I checked most of aren't celebs and even all of them don't get a pass to prolong marriage for life. Why is it taking so long for you to decide if its ok to marry each other? I understand possibly getting stuck with lemons be yeeesh, after a while ya gotta know if the person is a dud or not. Studies show that more people are having children out of wedlock so clearly you think someone is good enough to bring a life into the world but not marry.... I am all but puzzled. I personally don't plan on dating anyone again for more than a year without having the discussion about marriage and actually planing for one. You may not think its cool but hey, the longer I wait the sooner I end up with a joint, house, baby, a car note and no ring and SEPARATE bank account lol.

Now on to the case for joint accounts. I did read a few reasons that people like having separate accounts. All reason to pathetic to even list on this blog, so I won't. I will just enlighten you with my reasons why you SHOULD. Now my way won't guarantee a long lasting marriage, nor do I intend to sway people from a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, because I know there are a few people who will use the argument " my mom n dad did it" So I won't go there. These are simply just my opinion and anyone who doesn't agree can freely share why.....

1. It forces people to communicate - I believe a lot of relationships are already strained because people don't know how to talk to each other. I can freely admit this is an issue I have always had in my dating experience, which prayerfully won't be an issue in my next one. But not sharing banking accounts to me is like saying to me "I only want to talk to you regarding the fun stuff like, sex and where we will go out to eat" I know its pretty far fetched but really at what point will you talk about really important stuff? I think sharing your money will expose weaknesses early on in a relationship and give people a chance to deal with it vs pushing it under the rug until someone trips and falls over it.

2. I may as well not ever marry and just have a roommate - When you don't share bank accounts this to me is just like having a roommate in college. If we aren't going to share things then really what is the point? All you did was moved your pile of unwanted junk into a house or apt we now share. Oh yea and I get to see your eye crusted face when I wake up (oh joy) What exactly do we have to look forward to if whats mine is mine and whats yours is yours??

3. People are sabotaging their financial future by not becoming "one" - How can you really be on the same page about life changing events if you can't share you funds. I have heard many people say that when you get married you practically double your chances of financial prosperity. Keep in mind if you just want to live average and be an average joe then yea this would be ok. I personally don't plan on retiring and ending up eating alpo for life and working at walmart. If I just lived my life on one salary and split a few bills here n there this is what I have to look forward too. If you are smart sure you may end up with a nice size 401k but compare that too sharing with a spouse and having 5 times as much as you would when you shared. Money isn't everything I know but it sure does help when you have it.

4. Sharing creates a bond beyond the norm -
When I am married I don't want there to be any secrets between us. I know everything won't be perfect but why add to the drama when you don't have too? When we both sit down to do a budget we are drawing closer to each other in that we share the same desires and goals and want to do our best to help each other meet them. Im not a natural born nerd but I have become one, and I know it would do me wonders to know my hubby cares about our financial future just as much as I do. We need to be equal partners in this and if one of us is not making decisions something eventually will come up short.

So there are all my reasons, I probably could come up with more but I would rather hear what the rest of blog world has to say about it.


Young Mogul said...

I can see both sides of the argument, though. I think a joint account is fine for bills. But, the discretionary money of each partner should be their own to do whatever they want with, once they have met their family's financial obligations.

The problem, in my opinion, of having everything joint is.....if a husband buys his wife a birthday present from a JOINT account, then hasn't she bought her own gift? Additionally, if he wants the gift to be a surprise, but she can see the purchase from online or if he tries to avoid that scenario by getting cash from ATM, but is interrigated about the withdrawal......Also, once each partner has contributed their percentage to the monthly bills, he/she should not have to answer to anyone on how he/she spends his/her discretionary income that he/she works hard for everyday.

A lot of people may disagree with me, but I think that some marriages come to an end because the couple didn't understand that everyone needs to have a little space sometimes and something to call their own. A married couple is still comprised of two INDIVIDUALS. While the idea of two becoming one may sound romantic, there are still TWO people in the relationship. No one should feel suffocated in a marriage. And each individual has his/her own point at which he/she feels suffocated. Just my opinion.....

Divine and Debt Free said...

The thing is im not basing any of this off of a romanticized idea, im basing it off a Godly principle.

I don't intend to "suffocate" anyone, heck if we are financially well off it probably won't be much of an issue anyways. But people argue because they aren't on the same page about money.

My goal is to keep MONEY from being a reason to argue in my marriage and I am pretty confident that as long as we share every financial detail, we won't have an issue. But best believe we going in 100% honest and keeping it like that, if some guy doesn't like the way im rolling well, there is other fish in the sea!!

not trying to be funny at all but a true man of God is gonna understand exactly where I am coming from.

Divine and Debt Free said...

oh and the issue about gifts to me is, that If I really want something I will tell hubby "look boo im going to buy myself xyz and it cost xyz dollars and I want you to rap it up and gift it to me as a gift when we have dinner tonight.

I mean really you are lucky woman if u find a guy to buy you ANYTHING you don't end up taking back thats over 100 bucks lol. Im just saying we are wired differently. Just leave the buying me gifts job up to me lol I won't even be mad about it!

and there is a such thing as "blow" money that each person gets but again we agree TOGETHER on the amount. Not this whole "oh I put 43% of my pay into the pot so im doing whatever I want with the rest"


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