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Finances for Couples: A Case for Keeping Finances Separate

Finances for Couples: A Case for Keeping Your Finances Separate by TaxACT

Should you combine your finances or keep your finances separate?

The most important caveat in personal finance is that it is just that: personal.

It seems that by simply sharing our stories of successes and failures with money, we learn and support this growing community and are able to become less anxious about money and more interested in living a full, rich life.

If you have deeply merged finances with your partner, it could be working great and there is no reason to switch things up.

But if you have kept things separate until now and are considering merging your finances, there are a few good reasons to keep your finances separate as you become established.

Build trust first

Do you trust your partner enough to share your checking account with?

Len Penzo’s reader shared a story that left me depressed for days. You or I might not be able to contemplate taking someone else’s money and running, but it happens – a lot.

You don’t want to live your life in fear and without trust, but you also don’t want to hand over the keys to your life savings blindly either.

Your intuition about a persons character goes a long way here. At the very least, please don’t start merging accounts when you have barely been together for a year or even two.

I trust my partner completely. But we are both brand new to being responsible and not over-spending and even earning pretty good salaries.

This is a fragile time for us and we both have to focus on getting ourselves on solid ground before we merge finances.

Define each others spending patterns

How do you spend your money?

I’ll be the first to admit I have weird spending patterns. I will go days without buying anything, then make all of my necessary and fun purchases at once.

I also like to check my account every day, if not twice a day. For now, it’s just so much easier to keep track of just my own purchases.

Even though my fiance and I have both gotten better with our spending, I know he likes to stop at convenience stores for a Gatorade or coffee every day and all of those little purchases would bother me like being poked with a toothpick.

Not a big deal, but I still prefer to bother with only my own spending for now.

I know he rarely buys clothes for himself when I might buy a shirt or two every couple of months without thinking much of it.

Set goals together

You can still work on your goals together. Instead of merging your finances, consider just one joint savings account you both contribute to.

It’s a good way to save for a house down payment, vacations or a wedding. You can both keep track of your progress and share in the excitement of getting to pay for something without taking on any debt.

Eventually, it might make sense to share more than just one account, but do it gradually. Make sure you both understand each other and know what to expect.

I’ve heard marriage is hard, but I think it can be a lot less stressful if you’re not always fretting about money.

Readers, do you currently keep your finances separate with your significant other? Does it help with your personal finances?

Photo credit: …-Wink-… via photopin cc

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About SK

SK is the author of American Debt Project - Pay Off Debt and Live Your Life. Don't Compare, Contrast. Follow American Debt Project on Twitter andFacebook.


are you kidding?? I will never join accounts with anyone! If I am a saver and he is a spender, when he spends his $$$ then he more than likely will start spending mine. Even if you are married and both working, each one should have their own account and contribute and share the bills. I have seen way too many problems with my friends relationships. She saves he spends. He barely contributes to bills, even though its him who is creating most of the bills, she keeps paying the bills, he spends his money on god knows what and when he is out of $$$ , he takes and drains the saving accounts. There was a couple that I know of, she kept saving, he kept spending and always complained his money was spent on his kids, who lived with his ex-wife and child support etc. and claimed he had no money, she paid all the utilities, the mortgage, even the food that he ate or eating out, while he didn't contribute a penny to anything(can you say moocher) he only paid for his car and insurance, that's it! then he convinced her to join bank accounts (I don't know why, what's the purpose when he cant even buy a gallon of milk) then he drained her savings of 30 years in 6 months. It turns out while he was mooching off of her, he was spending money on other women, on himself and when she filed for divorce, the guy had a nerve to go after her house and everything she owned, when he didn't even spent a penny or buy anything for that house or any of the repairs. She should've seen the red flags, if he wasn't even helping with any of the bills and making her pay even for his food, why was there a need for him to be on her bank accounts? so I say share the bills and keep your bank accounts separate, always! these days you cant trust anyone!