The pros and cons of a joint bank account
When you are in a serious relationship, it’s natural to begin sharing things together. Vacations, houses, and families begin to merge into one as you grow in your love for another. But should you share everything? Should you share your money?
Although merging bank accounts can signify trust and unity, it's important to think about all of the facts and make sure this is the next step and right decision for you and your partner.
- Ease of bill pay. When you're sharing rent and utilities, it's a lot easier to write one check and have it come out of a shared account. The same applies for other bills such as car payments and insurance costs. When your money is shared, you don't have to worry about who is buying groceries or dinner-you both are.
- Simpler legal process. In the unfortunate event something happens where your partner passes away, you don't have to go through a strenuous legal process to have access to their money. This makes one less thing you would have to worry about during such a somber and stressful time.
- Transparent expenses. With things like online banking, there are no secrets. You can see where every cent of your money goes. Something like this can make it easier to see exactly what you and your partner are spending your money on, and in effect, allow more ease when balancing check books and paying taxes. This will also help down the road when planning and saving for larger expenses.
- A sense of togetherness. There is a reason that so many people feel obligated to share their bank accounts-a shared account signifies extreme trust. As you and your partner grow closer, agreeing to share incomes and expenses in the same account seems exciting. It can add another layer of unity in your relationship if handled correctly.
- Lack of control. You cannot control how the other party spends your money. If your partner decides to spend frivolously, you will both feel the blow. This sort of problem can lead to many fights about what is necessary to spend on and what isn't. More of these issues may arise if one party brings in more income than the other.
- A partner's debt could be an issue. Now that you are merged into one account, you need to be open to your partner paying his or her individual debt from your joint account. Student loans, credit card debt, and other expenses of the sort fall in to that category and if you make more money than your partner, you need to feel comfortable with a portion of your income going toward your partner's debt. Talk to your partner and have an open conversation about your debts.
- No privacy. The opposite problem to your spending being transparent is that you have no privacy. No longer can you decide to buy an unplanned trip to surprise your counterpart. They would get an alert the minute that you made the purchase and your cover would be blown. Your independence has been compromised.
- Termination of the relationship. What happens if you break up? There are horror stories of partners breaking up, draining the bank account, and running away leaving the other person penniless and broken-hearted. Breaking-up is never easy and is worse when you have so many things to divide amongst the both of you. Now imagine adding the extra stress of splitting up your bank account-yikes.
While these are general points to aid in the process of deciding if a joint account is right for you, they are not conclusive. Talk to your partner and decide what is best for the both of you.
 When to Consider Opening a Joint Checking Account, Nerd Wallet
 Should You Have Joint or Separate Bank Accounts?, About
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