Opening a joint bank account is a pivotal moment in a romantic relationship. It requires trust, transparency, and dependency on each other! Money is a sensitive topic and honestly one that can cause a lot of strife if you're not prepared. BUT, the act of opening an account together truly solidifies your relationship if your future together is clear! Here are some top questions to ask if you're considering opening a joint bank account with your partner! 💑💵
The first thing you should ask yourself is if you honestly know your partner's spending habits! Do they spend frivolously and constantly? Or are they cautious and thoughtful about how they spend their money? Being around each other daily should make this question easy to answer, however taking a peek at each other's bank statements is the only way to know how much each of you spend. 🤑
Will your joint account cover all of your expenses or only bills you both share? Will you have a separate account for each of your personal expenses or put all of your money into one account? Discuss with your partner the ins and outs of what you want your joint account to cover! It's not a bad idea to set expectations from the get-go.
If you're reaching this point in your life of financial stability and responsibly, chances are good that you have a budget in place that you stick too. However, some people don't closely follow their set budget and this is where trouble arises. Do you AND your partner budget wisely or do one/both of you constantly overspend? And when overages occur, how do you deal with it? These are important questions to think about and discuss.
Debt is another huge factor to consider when opening a shared account. Once you merge funds you will inherit each other's debt expenses. If you know each other's debt going into it, and accept their debt as something you're willing to sacrifice for, then a joint account is a good idea! Set parameters each month for how you're going to tackle your debt and bills, and how much each of you will be contributing.
Having a back-up plan in case things go south is never a bad idea. And sometimes, having your own separate account is a great way to save and spend on things you want personally. That way, you won't be questioned by your partner nor will you feel guilty if you buy something that's outside of the budget you two have created.
Probably the most fundamental question you need to ask is, can you trust your partner? Without trust and transparency there's no way your joint account will happen or be sustainable (this applies to your relationship as well). It's also a good idea to have both of you, not just one, be in charge of maintaining your account and managing your finances/bills/spending. Both of you need to see how the other spends and saves on a regular basis!
Lastly, you need to consider what happens if your relationship ends. No one wants to think about these things, and if you're taking the plunge to join accounts, chances are you're in it for the long haul! Regardless of your hopes for the future, you should always be prepared for a different outcome. Discuss what will become of your account if you happen to break up!
Keep in mind that while opening a joint account is an incredibly exciting thing for a couple, it also comes with a lot of sacrifice and potential issues if you're not careful/prepared! Ask all these questions listed above and then some, and you should be just fine! 🤓👌🏽
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