7 Reasons Why Couples Should Always Have Separate Bank Accounts

Did you know that couples with financial woes are 30% more likely to get divorced?

Money is an inevitable component of every relationship, especially a committed one. Unfortunately, it can all too easily lead to trouble.

Many newlyweds convey their commitment to each other by merging their finances. Unmarried partners may take a similar step by using a joint account.

However, no matter how nice they sound, joint accounts can be detrimental to even the strongest relationship. In fact, having separate bank accounts is vital for keeping your relationship and your credit score intact.

Keep reading to find out other reasons why independent finances are the way to go!

1. Enable Mutual Savings

As counterintuitive as it sounds, it can be harder to save as a couple when your finances are united.

This is because partner financial habits often differ. In some cases, they differ in extreme ways!

Your desires to save are also likely to fluctuate. You may be ready to save for a house, for example, but your partner may be less invested in this prospect.

This can result in some partners saving more than others, which can be a point of contention. This can hinder productive financial planning, especially key savings goals.

Separate bank accounts, on the other hand, put the onus to save on individuals. Partners can assess their own respective incomes, debt, and capacity to save. They can then agree on a mutual savings plan outside the confines of a messy joint account.

Separate accounts can also make the notion of saving far less restrictive. It may even be more motivating!

2. Prevent Crippling Fights (and Divorce)

Financial woes are the biggest predictors of divorce!

It’s natural to fight about money. But if you find yourself doing it all the time, greater issues could be lurking under the surface of your relationship.

Joint accounts bring financial differences to the fore.

With a joint account, you can see exactly what your partner is doing with their money. They also get a birds-eye view of your spending habits.

This can exacerbate existing financial tensions, which can provoke more fights.

This is especially the case if effective guidelines aren’t in place ahead of time. The same goes for if you feel the impulse to track your partner’s every credit card swipe.

Even if viewing each other’s spending decisions isn’t a point of contention, it very well can be.

If you and your spouse are fighting about money you could seek out joint counselling via BetterHelp.

3. Keep Credit Scores Intact

Credit scores are vital for securing loans of any kind, including credit cards. When couples merge their finances, they aren’t necessarily merging their credit scores.

But if they utilize the same credit card, for example, this could be risky. Irresponsible credit card users can severely impact their own credit score–and their partner’s.

It can take years to recover from bad credit. Lower scores can also prevent you from taking out a mortgage at a competitive rate or qualifying for a personal loan.

To keep your individual scores intact, maintain separate credit accounts.

If you and your partner have your own credit cards but fund these from a joint account, be careful! Insufficient funds in a joint account can prevent one of you from paying off a credit card balance in full or on time.

Missed or delayed payments can result in late fees, interest, and a credit hit.

4. Cultivate Independence

There are plenty of life decisions you and your partner may make together. Perhaps you already have!

You may have recently decided to rent an apartment together. If so, check out this great selection of affordable housing options. Maybe you’ve discussed getting married or taking a long trip somewhere.

These mutual decisions can be exciting, and they are often important to make as a couple.

That being said, independence is still essential for healthy, long-lasting relationships. Partners should feel as if they have their own individual freedom to make certain decisions, especially when it comes to lifestyle.

Keeping separate bank accounts automatically gives both partners that bit of financial freedom they need to be their authentic selves. A joint account may feel limiting to one or both partners.

5. Prove Your Trust

By utilizing separate bank accounts, you and your partner prove your trust in each other. It can be hard to build trust in relationships, particularly rocky ones!

Yes, your partner may blow a bunch of cash at the mall one weekend. And yes, you may splurge on that new iPhone.

Even so, having separate accounts indicates that you trust your partner, regardless of their spending behavior. Most importantly, it shows that neither one of you feels the need to “monitor” your spending.

6. Don’t Complicate a Breakup

If things do go south, a joint account can exacerbate a breakup.

Splitting up finances after a breakup or divorce can be exceedingly messy. It can also be challenging, especially for couples who had unequal accounts to begin with.

Having to sort out finances while both of your hearts are hurting can also be an unnecessary burden. In some cases, you may not even walk away with what you had originally.

Don’t complicate a breakup. Set up separate accounts, no matter how solid your relationship feels!

7. Bypass the Awkwardness of Unequal Accounts

One partner’s financial standing may be far different than the other’s. You may simply earn more money than your partner does or vice versa.

Perhaps your partner has a savings account and you don’t (or vice versa).

Combining unequal accounts can be awkward. It can also be tough to negotiate.

Some partners may suddenly feel as if they are spreading their own wealth a little bit too far. They may grow bitter or resentful if they see their partner spending what was originally “their” money.

On the flip side, lower-earning partners may feel guilty for utilizing what they view as their partner’s cash. They may be more keenly aware of an earning difference, which can be psychologically challenging.

Of course, it is possible to set up guidelines for joint account use. If you are still eager to merge your money, talk about it openly and frequently.

Final Thoughts: The Value of Separate Bank Accounts

Now you know the importance of having separate bank accounts. What happens next?

As the sole manager of your own bank account, you’ll need some key tools to build your wealth accordingly. Take advantage of our free toolkit here!