What kind of checking account do you have?


The truth is that finances are always going to be a part of your marriage and how you come to handle money will color many aspects of your married years.

Each of us comes into marriage with financial baggage.

Learning how to join that financial history together is one challenge that ALL married couples face.

For us, the decision to have a joint account was indicative of our decision to be unified in all aspects of our marriage.

For other, having separate accounts allows them to have more control over how money is spent.

15 Reasons Why You Should Have a Joint or Separate Checking Account

Do you and your spouse have a joint account or choose to have separate accounts? Why?

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  1. For our entire 7 year marriage we have always had separate checking accounts and a joint checking account, so that we could transfer money to each other when needed. We showed each other our pay stubs (when I was working) so we always knew approximately how much money each person had. We also have spending plan discussions and know how much each person saves independently in their individual savings accounts and the joint savings account. I strongly argue that neither of us has one foot out the door or that our arrangement fosters mistrust. Plus even though I’m not working now we still have separate accounts and will continue to do so. It is just one more way of managing the finances and should not be automatically judged wrong.

  2. Sara, our intention was not to suggest that all couples with separate accounts have one foot out the door. Rather, for those couples who don’t ever discuss finances, separate accounts definitely provides an easy out. From your comment it’s clear that the two of you have a high level of financial intimacy for which you should be commended.

  3. We have a farm, but between us we have some joint, and some individual. Even during a 16 month separation my wife still paid all of our personal and farm bills. One thing that was nice during our separation with her still doing the bills, I felt that it was a protection from me getting involved in things with which I shouldn’t be involved.

    We have always tried to keep something completely in her name in case of my death because in Ohio they freeze bank accounts until you get an executor appointed which can take a few days depending on bank and court holidays and attorney schedule- that way she would still have easy access to at least money to run the household.

    Our banker also encouraged her to have a separate credit card so she would have a separate credit history in case anything happened.

    In general she does the detail work of paying bills and I do the big picture work with the accountants and taxes and banks and loans.

    One thing we have done is that we have created a Word document of notes that she has made about things that are primarily in my head about contacts, and where we get different supplies, and when various documents are due, etc. That has eased her fears about something happening to me.We farmers are notorious for having boat loads in our head and not much written down.

    I think the key is to talk about it all and find out what works best for your unique combination of personalities, skills, and circumstances.

    • Very interesting that even during your separation that your wife had control over all the accounts. Like you said Rich it kept you out of things you shouldn’t be involved in. By doing this did it keep that connection between you two during this time? Could it have been easier to just leave for good if you had your own money to manage?

      Good on both of you knowing the state laws and how that can affect either of you upon one of your deaths. Seems to be a smart thing to have separate accounts for this situation. Also, having all the important info on that word doc or CD is key. We have learned that this has helped us as well when it comes to knowing what to do in the event one of us passes.

      The key, communicating, is the highest priority. Without talking neither husband nor wife can truly connect in financial intimacy.

  4. When we first got married, we had the 1 account. I was adamant that we would keep a unified bank account. Much like the Tony and Alisa, it was a way to show that we were together in all things. However, we now actually have 16 different accounts. But we also found an inherent problem…because I am the keeper of the accounts, she never knew how much money we had or didn’t have. And she couldn’t ever just go buy me a gift, cause I’d immediately know. Since then, we have been a part of Dave Ramsey’s FPU. We have taken Dave Ramsey’s Envelope System high tech and use the different accounts as our “envelopes.” As part of that system, we each have our own “envelope” that is our own blow money. So if I buy something on iTunes, that’s mine to do with as I please. Or if I want to save it up and buy something big for myself or even my wife, its mine to do with as I please. And she can do with hers what she pleases. We still have the one account that all our money gets deposited into, but from there, it gets seperated out. But as for our own personal accounts, that’s ours. By the way- I have complete access to her account as she does to mine- we have just agreed to stay out of each other’s accounts.

  5. I need some advice : “living with partner who has own mortgage and earns more/ splitting outgoing”
    I am just turning 30, living at home. Partner is 33, has own house and mortgage for 8years.
    We are thinking about moving in about a years time but a spanner has been put in the woks which I will explain later. He earns upto £45-50 per year which I found out as he didn’t actually disclose this. We have been together for nearly 3 years. He is very independent financially and from a well off family but does it all himself. I live at home as of bad experiences in the past so don’t want to move in with someone without knowing the facts

    I’ve heard of tennant in common, agreement which sounds good. But that would be years down the line
    I want to know what would be reasonable with paying bills and outgoings when you first move in?
    I am being picky with this as it’s not simple and straight forward with my partner, he’s closed when it comes to talking about his outgoings and income, and said oh don’t worry about mortgage and bills u know I’ll pay that you just can pay abit of whatever, it may seem lovely to most females but not me.
    That’s not partnership in my eyes and would make me feel like a lodger without any say on anything including the house, in making it also my home.
    I don’t earn a great deal and out incomes are at other ends of the spectrums me :£16 pa his: £47-50 pa

    It’s hard as I’m fighting my own independence and control of my life. My partner in my eyes has said he will take care of all finances as its a way of him not having to disclose what he’s got going and and going out and I don’t want that blindness in my life, I have to be in control also

    Further to this, he has told me he has £23 k in savings, for a car and this is offset against his mortgage. Which is great to see I’m with someone who saves it

    But as I’ve had a bad past and small insecurities about men, I opened his bank statement not because of doubt but looking for that extra reassurance that what he says is true if we are to have a future together
    His statement read more than he told me
    £23k. – (actually £47k much more)
    £2,400 – (savings that I knew about)
    £6,500 – (did not disclose)
    £40 in current account when I fact it was £1,400 a available)
    And a £2k Xmas present from his dad he did not tell me about

    I feel like he obviously doesn’t trust me to tell me this, it’s almost like financial infidelity. He says the £47k is not for anything in particular, just saving

    The issue is, he saves 2/3 of his wage now I’ve realised but has been saying he doesn’t have much money to actually live on and that he’s so thrifty.

    I confronted him, he was shocked but o feel hurt and almost lied too even though I guess it’s non of my business. It opened my eyes up to the fact if we lived together e would have never told me about this he admits, so where do I take things from here?
    I feel dubious now about living, and that he will never disclose try transparency on money and I want unity and partnership not a say on his money but to at least know
    he says its security in case he looses his job but in all fairness he’s been in it for 11yrs and is looking for a massive promotion in which he thinks he/ will live on a shoe string still?

  6. We’ve been together almost 10 years and married almost 4 years. We have always had separate accounts. At first I was ok with it. But it hasn’t worked out for years. We are always fighting about money and finances and his overspending. I want to have a joint account for bills. I am fine with the separate business accounts, but i like the idea of having access to them. Not sure he will agree to that. He is very secretive about everything. We don’t even talk anymore unless I am fighting about money with him. He has 2 checking accounts i can look at one now and I secretly checked the other one. They have both had a negative amount for a couple of months. I have now idea what is in his new business account. We are currently close to divorce (I’m scared that is my only option). My husband believes the money he makes is his and he can spend it how ever he pleases. He has bought 2 junk houses and a 2 cars without discussing with me first. He also bought 2 newer semis for the trucking business and now no one is driving either of the trucks. He is behind on payments. I didn’t find out till several months later that he bought one of the houses and 1 of the cars. One of the houses & cars he bought recently and I found out by snooping. He was the primary breadwinner in our house. Now I’m not sure. Sometimes he says I make more than him. We are both self employed. He was a truck driver for the past 9 years. In Jan. he started a mechanic business and doesn’t use any of the income from that business to pay our bills. Our bills are late for a few months and he tells me not to worry about it. How can I not worry? My income only goes so far. He has racked up several thousands of dollars in credit card debt for the new business and for paying a few bills. Also he has been helping other people pay their rent and electric bills but ours are not being paid. I am so scared and don’t know what to do. In Nov. we bought a new car that we could have afforded had he stayed working in the trucking. Now I’m scared we will loose the house, new car and our marriage. I need help!