Should Couples Have Separate Bank Accounts? (3 Minute Debt Break)

When couples get married, there is a legal binding of finances and financial responsibilities. But should couples have separate bank accounts? In many cases, setting up a joint account can make achieving collective financial goals easier and measuring each spouse's contributions clearer. But it's not without its downsides – the most noteworthy being a loss of financial independence, either real or perceived.

couple hugging and looking out the window

To help you make the choice, here are some factors you may want to consider. The advantages of separate bank accounts include empowering individuals and eliminating power struggles around money. It can create a buffer between partners who may have different goals or approaches to money. Separate accounts can protect one spouse from a garnishment of bank funds if the other encounters debt trouble. It facilitates both spouses being financially literate. And gifts can have more meaning if they come from an individual's account rather than a joint account. 

The advantages of a joint account is many too. They can include the prevention of money secrets. It encourages couples to communicate and set financial goals together. And it can allow couples to properly budget.  A joint account can also ensure both spouses are taking responsibility for family finances, reduce bank fees and makes accessing money easier in the event one spouse passes away or falls critically ill.

There's no reason the conversation about joint or independent bank accounts need be black and white. Many couples keep their own chequing accounts for regular spending but also contribute to a joint account to pay shared costs. Whether you choose to have separate or joint bank accounts, or a mix of the two, a willingness to have open and honest conversations about money is essential for relationship success. 

Establish your financial goals together early and review regularly. We often talk about the negative role debt and finances have in relationships – but the opposite can also be true. When you and your spouse are on the same page when it comes to money, that can be the recipe for a happy and prosperous future.

Help is available for couples who have found themselves in a situation of unmanageable debt. During a Free Confidential Consultation, a MNP Debt Licensed Insolvency Trustee will review your finances and explain your options. Whether you qualify for a life changing debt solution such as a Consumer Proposal or bankruptcy or are better suited to another option – they will help you make the best choice for you. The goal is to defeat debt and get you on the path to a financial fresh start.

 

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