7 Signs You're Ready for a Joint Bank Account ...

There are some tell-tale signs you're ready for a joint bank account. For many couples, this is a big step in the relationship, and a big step for their money. But although many couples choose to merge finances for household bills and other expenses, there are no rules that say this has to happen. Some people prefer keeping their money separate. But if you're thinking about merging funds, here are seven signs you're ready for a joint bank account

1. The Relationship Progresses in the Right Direction

This is one of the obvious signs you're ready for a joint bank account. If the relationship is moving in the right direction and progressing, there's nothing wrong with discussing merging funds with your partner. Whether you're moving in together or getting married, one bank account is convenient for paying shared household expenses.

2. You're Comfortable Talking about Money

Money is a taboo subject for some people, and if you're not comfortable talking about your personal finances with your partner, then you're definitely not ready to merge bank accounts. For a joint bank account to work, you both have to be on the same page -- financially speaking. For this to happen, you have to be willing to discuss your money and goals on a regular basis.

3. You Trust Your Partner's Money Habits

You can have all the love in the world for your partner, but if you question his or her spending habits, it might be best to keep accounts separate. This way, your partner's potentially bad money habits have minimum impact on your personal finances.

4. You Have Joint Accounts or Expenses

If you and your partner don't have joint accounts or expenses, there's really no reason to merge your accounts. Typically, couples get a joint bank account if they're both contributing toward household expenses, such as the mortgage, utilities, auto loans and other bills.

5. You're Okay Pooling Funds

Again, there are no hard or fast rules regarding whether a couple should have a joint bank account. And even if you trust your partner, you may prefer having your own money in your own account. Do whatever works for you. If you're not comfortable with the idea of joint accounts, keep your cash separate.

6. Your Present System Isn't Working

After a review of your finances, you may discover that your present system isn't working. Maybe you feel you're contributing more than your fair share to household expenses, and you want to create a system where you and your partner contribute equally. In this case, getting a joint bank account and contributing equal amounts to this account creates a better balance.

7. You Have Similar Spending Habits and Goals

For a joint bank account to work, you and your partner need to have similar spending habits and goals. If one person is a spender, and the other is a saver, this can create problems -- especially if one person dips into the joint account and spends money unnecessarily. Determine the purpose of the joint account, and only use funds for this purpose.

Some couples view joint bank accounts as a step in the right direction. But while these accounts work for some relationships, they don't work for all. What are other signs you're ready for a joint bank account?