Married Couples and Separate Bank Accounts

Married Couples and Separate Bank Accounts

Just Married

How scary is that for an opening title? Perhaps not as scary as, Married Couples and Separate Bank Accounts.

Now that you are married, should you have separate bank accounts?

Few words can bring such an icy feeling over a brave, young man’s heart. Young men will go to war, fight with lions and tigers, fight on the street, and in bars, and rise up from their ruins to fight another day.

If however any mention of getting married is introduced into the conversation, they quickly assume their best defensive posture or head to the bar for another drink.

Is it any wonder, with Western divorce rate rates hovering in the 50% range. The odds are more in your favor, of retuning from a foreign conflict, or an all out war.

Now What?

The preponderance of evidence, suggests that the number 1 cause of marriage failure in North America is the lack of money to maintain the marriage and the family setting. I would add that this is brought to the fore by a “lack of money knowledge, and a lack of proper money management skills.”

The lack of money knowledge leads to poor money management. From there, the arguments and fighting lead to divorce.

In fact, many studies show that money problems in a marriage are the number one cause of divorce. 

A U.S. Census Bureau from 1996, suggests that 69% of men and 76% of women, aged 15 and older had been married at least once.

Money

Another recent, semi-scientific survey, by a popular magazine, found out that over 70% of couples argue or fight about money issues at least once a month. Young and old couples, battle each other over issues of money, more than about clothing, food, nutrition, or sex.

The latest Statistics Canada data suggests that approximately 38% of all marriages end in divorce, with the divorce rate peaking around 41% in the 1980s. While the total divorce rate has been steady, there has been a steady increase in the divorce rate for 3-year marriages.

How are my neighbors to the south, in the US of A, faring out. It seems that the statistics are similar there as well. According to USA statistics, 40 to 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, and about 40% of first year marriages end in divorce.

Further studies suggest that money problems in a marriage are the number 1 cause of divorce.

This is a very depressing static on the state of money issues in North American society.

Trust is the part of the Solution

If there was a 40 to 50% chance of getting hit by a vehicle when you crossed a street, would you cross that street?

The answer is, probably no!

This is where the solution to Joint Bank Accounts begins. Depending on how long you have known each other, there comes a moment when you have to realize that you are in this together. Together if you have no children, but even more together, if you have children.

Let’s begin with the basics. You are sharing an apartment or a house. You need a roof to sleep under, and this process requires that you pay the rent, lights, heat, food, and others items pertinent to your couple’s situation.

1. All the basics that belong to this section should be paid from a “joint checking account”.

2. Set up a “joint savings account” to save for “rainy days”.

3. Setting up a joint checking and a joint savings account will solve 90% of ALL your money problems, IF you maintain this account “properly and together.”

4. This will establish trust in your couple. By being open about money and performing your money management tasks together, you will grow as a couple.

5. Once you have managed to master this stage, there is no reason why you cannot have separate savings, checking, and other forms of accounts, but the solution to most of your problems lie in “trusting each other”. 

Once you trust each other, there is little need to keep too many secrets. 

A Solution to the Problem

The statistics clearly show that the number 1 cause of divorce in North America is the result of lack of money. This lack of money is largely due to a lack of money knowledge.

Is there any doubt as to the value of learning about money and how to manage it?

You don’t need to become an economics major at a prestigious university to manage your money properly, but you need a good basic knowledge of mathematics.

Even simple Arithmetic will do in the beginning. Addition and Subtraction, pure and simple.

Add all your earnings for the given month, …

Subtract your expenses, … and that’s it!

Done like dinner!

If you can master that simple formula, and discipline yourself to maintain it, you will never be broke again, I promise.

Hope

Without hope the future is bleak, but if you focus on building trust as a couple, and work towards increasing your knowledge of money and its use in our modern-day society, you will be well on your way to matrimonial and financial success.

You will have solved 80 to 90% of all your big problems and you will be able to focus some funtime.

Remember to be responsible first, and put “having fun” in second place.

I would love to hear how you manage your money and if any of these solutions seem practical and possible to you.

 

13 thoughts on “Married Couples and Separate Bank Accounts”

  1. This is very useful advice and a reminder that things can go wrong. I got out of my last marriage with $ 15,000 in debt to the bank, for a loan my ex-husband raised. Now, as ugly as it may sound, my current husband and I have separate accounts, but we are discussing future investments together.

    Reply
    • That’s my point, Blue Moon.

      If you had been sharing “household expenses” and sharing “money talk” this most likely would not have happened.

      Talking money together would have brought up the $15,000.00 debt long before it raised its ugly head.

      Now you are stuck with a bill that someone else dropped in your lap. End of relationship. Now imagine if you had 2 or 3 children in this story. A lot of this borders on trust. Couples that do not trust each other, generally do not survive.

      A major problem that could have been avoided with a very simple solution.

      Lessons learned the hard way.

      Merry Christmas, and thanks for reading my post.

      Reply
  2. I must say that you have done a great job on this article as it is very important and also informative too,and I know it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me.i think a married couples should have separate accounts as it would really helped them understand the proper inflow of money.but I would like to ask.what would be the benefit of both couples should have one bank account?

    Reply
    • Hi Dave.

      Many young couples, and older couples as well, get into serious financial difficulties because of a lack of money management skills. 

      The benefit of a young or married couple having a joint account depends on the couple, and how you go about paying your monthly bills. If one partner takes care of the money, and the other partner is O.K. with that process, that’s fine, … problem solved. 

      The issue that I’m relating to is the high divorce rate in North America caused largely by “money problems”. Sometimes one partner is claiming to “take care” of the money, but they don’t pay the bills. In many cases, the significant other is spending the money on drinking, drugs, or gambling. 

      A young couple that does not share and talk about money, rarely survives. The government statistics prove this conclusively.

      If you are a married couple, what’s wrong with a joint account to pay household expenses. 

      Today, many couples both work, and should share expenses, if that’s the case. I’m not talking about the super-rich. I don’t know how they do it. I’m simply saying that this is an area of great concern for young couples and a major cause of divorce. 

      This is not a big deal if the couple has no children. but when a few children are thrown into the mix, the issue becomes much more serious.

      Selfishness does not make a good marriage.

      Paul

      Reply
  3. Thank you for this informative post. I had no idea that the divorce statistics were that high! It doesn’t surprise me that money in the #1 cause of marital break downs. I do feel somewhat reassured though, my wife and I have a joint account but also have our own bank accounts too (where our salaries are paid to). 

    Thank you for putting some statistical context around this issue, and for providing readers with a solution.

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading my post, and a Merry Christmas to you and your family.

      The separate accounts you refer to are for “direct deposit” of your paychecks into your personal or business accounts by your employers or clients.

      I have had these direct deposits as well, in the past. 

      I am not opposed to separate accounts but in most cases it’s more efficient and more trustworthy to have a joint account to pay common and shared expenses in a marriage or relationship. If you have been in a long relationship or marriage, you have solved this issue, a long time ago. 

      My post is mostly addressed to young couples that are starting out and in need of a method of getting their bills paid. 

      Sharing money goals and strategies is an essential skill for marriage survival.

      Paul

      Reply
  4. Wow, thank you for remind me about the Money problems. It is so easy to forget either we like it or not money is at the center of our relationship. 

    It is such a difficult topic and usually, people don’t talk about it. I guess people are afraid or there is no TRUST – I know for a fact there married couples with separate bank accounts and I had never seen it before “I was shocked”

    I assumed that every one that is married has a joined bank account – I was wrong 

    This is a very controversial topic and you just hit the nail on the head – what I can suggest the headings maybe should be in bold – the website is nice and clean, easy to read-

    So again thank you for sharing the knowledge.

    All the best

    Moreno

    Reply
    • Thanks, Moreno.

      Sometimes we just have to grab the bull by the horns. For couples that have no children, this is not a big deal, but when children are involved and a divorce results, this is a major issue for ALL concerned, especially the children.

      Being too selfish, is never a good idea for a family.

      Merry Christmas, and have a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

      Paul

      Reply
  5. Hey Paul, Amazing for know Married Couples and Separate Bank Accounts. Now I understand the number 1 cause of marriage failure in North America is the lack of money to maintain the marriage and the family setting. This lack of money is largely due to a lack of money knowledge. Thanks for sharing useful money knowledge.
    Deepu

    Reply
    • Hi Deepu.

      Young couples often struggle with money issues. 

      There are two main reasons for this based on governmental and private research sources. One is a lack of money management skills, and the other is a lack of trust in the relationship.

      At first it seems all related to money, but it also involves a diminished level of communicating skills as well. Communication skills have always been important for getting things done. 

      Beginning a new life as a couple presents a lot of new challenges. In the beginning we can come to our parents for help, and oftentimes they solve our problems easily and quickly.

      The day we leave home everything changes, and it now becomes our responsibility to solve our problems.

      Communication, Trust, and Excellent Money Management Skills, are all very useful tools for a successful marriage.

      Hope you are enjoying the Holiday Season.

      Paul

      Reply
  6. Hello Paul. I must admit that I had a good time reading through this post. Although I am not married yet, I am close to the point of leaving my parents to stay on my own as a bachelor. The next thing on mind is to get a business rolling (source of income) and what follows next is marriage. Whenever I look into marriages around, the thought of getting married looks really frightening. But I have seen a few marriages that trigger and rekindle marriage spirit in me, lol.

    Many marriages keep failing today and one of the major causes has been as a result of lack of money plus improper management of Money all leading down to lack of good money knowledge.

    Setting up a joint account for the stuffs you have mentioned looks really good to me although I don’t like the idea of joint account. The reasons you have stated are okay. But here in Africa, a father is expected to take care of all of those; from house rent, school fees, feeding, etc. But the idea of joint account would make it a lot more easier as a husband and father. Considering the fact that the wife and mother may want to contribute.

    Merry Christmas!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the Christmas Wishes, MrBiizy.

      Different cultures have different ways of dealing with their private lives and that’s not a problem for me. 

      I am mostly referring to North American culture and the main reason for marriage failure here. Joint Accounts can be scary to a lot of young couples, but if you only keep enough money in that account to pay the essentials, then there is no fear of someone running away with all your savings. 

      All couples do things differently, but some things work well because they are based on sound principles. Use what is best for you, but if you are always fighting about money issues, it’s time to sit down and devise a plan that will work for your family. 

      If there are no children in the relationship, then it’s no problem, but when a young couple have a few children, the game changes a lot.

      Families are about sharing and doing what’s best for all.

      Paul

      Reply

Leave a Comment