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What is wrong with individual checking accounts?

View Poll Results: What type of account(s) do you have w/your spouse/significant other?
Joint all the way, baby! 21 42.86%
Separate and not worried about it 13 26.53%
Joint for household finances, but separate for personal stuff. 13 26.53%
Other (please elaborate) 2 4.08%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-18-2006, 10:41 AM   #1
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Default What is wrong with individual checking accounts?

I realize that a lot of married/long-term couples have joint checking accounts, but is there anything wrong with separate accounts?

Having a separate account doesn't mean that I don't trust my husband, it just means that we like to keep our finances separate.

What's y'all's take?
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:26 AM   #2
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I have joint finances, and wish I hadn't. Part of it is feeling validated that I worked hard and this is my money, and these are my bills etc.. .that I think I am missing. I also think that each person helping to make the financial decisions is a good idea...

that said, I do have joint finances and feel awkward and stuck about it. And now that it's all together, it's just to much of a pain to separate.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:31 AM   #3
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We have seperate checking accounts but 90% of DH's money comes to my checking account. I pay all the bills, I put money into various savings accounts and DH has some money which he can use to do whatever he wants to do with in his account. I don't know if we'd progress into a joint checking account but it really is a lot easier when I know how much money is in my account and where it is going. I do give him a status report on how much money is in savings as well as I ask him about some expenses on his credit cards if I'm not sure about them so I can keep track of the money he spends.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:35 AM   #4
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We are joint all the way. Part of that may be because we married at the ripe old age of 19, when $250/week was a lot of money, and we have pulled ourselves up together. He supported me (he was active duty military) while I finished my bachelor's degree, we both worked hard while I finished my master's, and now he is going back to finish his bachelor's. It is all-for-one and one-for-all around here, and has been from the get go. We dump our money together, and everything we spend comes out of our joint $$. I suspect people who had careers or some sort of independence prior to marriage may be more likely to go for some type of individual account, but it has never crossed our minds.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:37 AM   #5
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We have separate day-to-day accounts but since we got married I think we're gradually moving towards a joint account. We've opened a joint account with some cheques we got but that's mainly savings at the moment. I pay DH for half the rent, he pays elec, council tax and probably most of the grocery shopping We have a joint credit card that he pays off which I only use for groceries.

I've still got a huge student overdraft so I wouldn't really want to get a joint account till I pay that off. It's not really very fair for him to be paying my overdraft!
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:03 PM   #6
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We always say we don't have enough money for more than one acount.
We're about like Midwife and her fella ... I remember thinking everything would be sooo much easier if DH could make $200 a week!
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:04 PM   #7
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Joint accounts. Our bills are joint, so why wouldn't our accounts be? I've honestly never understood married couples who divide up the bills. I mean, I can understand it if you're paying your own credit card bill or whatever, but household bills?

Of course, when I work my paycheck is cashed & mostly spent by me. And that's the way my husband wants it.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:15 PM   #8
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I think it all comes down to what a person is comfortable with.
My mom always taught me to have an account of my own (she would have been with my dad 35 years today), and she was taught that by women who were married for a long time and somehow got screwed by having all joint finances.
I don't understand not wanting some kind of financial indipendence, but we're all different.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:24 PM   #9
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I think every situation is different. In my case, my partner and I have separate accounts and one joint one for joint bills. As long as both of us contribute enough to cover bills, that's all that's necessary.

We have no joint credit cards (I have none, period.) We also have separate savings accounts. I take care of my personal bills, like car insurance and life insurance.

Every situation is different. The best thing is to sit down with your SO and work out a plan that suits everyone.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:44 PM   #10
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Up until 3 years ago we had separate accounts and it worked fine for us. Now we have joint accounts and it too works fine. Having had joint accounts now I don't think I would get a separate account again. This seems to be easier for us now and it's working so...but I don't see anything at all wrong with separate accounts. What ever works for you.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:45 PM   #11
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My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2 years, and living together 1 1/2. We have seperate checking accounts and a joint savings. We share the bills evenly, so at one point, we did try a joint checking, but our attitudes about money just differ too much. He's super carefree (but not reckless) and I get to the point where sometimes I worry too much.

I believe that figuring out what works for you is part of a trusting, honest relationship.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:50 PM   #12
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My SO and I keep everything separate. This is most certainly in part because we aren't actually married. We've been together for 11 years and have lived together for 6 of those years, but haven't ever gotten married.

We have separate checking, savings, IRA, and brokerage accounts. The house is solely in my name. We have no joint credit cards or debt. We used to divide up the bills but now I pretty much pay them all. I also pay for all of our groceries. When he is working, which he hasn't for the last two years, he writes me a check once a month for about half the mortgage payment. This seems a little unfair but there is also a huge disparity in our incomes (even when he is working). He works in the non-profit sector which typically pays pretty low. My annual compensation is 2 to 3 times more than his, so it makes sense that I cover more of our monthly expenses (although I do wish he'd get a job and start contributing to the mortgage payments again).

I really like things separate; it's one less thing to argue about.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:56 PM   #13
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DH and I have had a joint account since we were married 18 1/2 years ago. We've never had a problem. I pay all the bills. I decide to move money from checking to savings to CD's, etc. There was a time when the day-to-day living expenses were more than our paychecks so the headache was mostly mine to deal with, but these days that headache is more like finding the time to sit down at the computer and record our checks and pay our bills online. I've never made as much $$ as DH and when we were first living together he would give me money for me to pay bills and I tried to keep everything equitable, but it quickly became evident that he would bear the most of the burden of bill paying. So I tried to do more around the house (like managing the finances) to make up for it. It worked out quite well for us, besides, I like being in control!!!! It's cool that he has to ask me for a check to pay for stuff (unless he charges is which is most of the time). When he does take a check, he gets to use the pretty flowered checks that I ordered!!!

The only thing we have separate is our individual 401(k) accounts.
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:11 PM   #14
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I am single so my take doesn't really "count"
But, I think it would be less problematic to have separate accounts. (Unless your bank account balance is really large.) If not, say you have $500 in your account, and you decide to buy something for $300 and your spouse also decides to buy something for $300 - OOPS. Or you have to consult each other all the time before buying anything - whoa; I wouldn't like that!
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:22 PM   #15
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Allison, I really like being in control of the finances and because I care about general finances and getting the best deal, DH likes me handling the financial matters.

Before we got married, we had split the bills and handled our finances seperately. So I'd pay for certain bills, he'd pay for certain bills and we paid for our own expenses. I'd ask him for money for our joint savings account but that was basically it. Then a few months before we got married, he missed a credit card payment. He charged $10 to a card he never uses (for some reason), forgot about it, and then that credit card decided to charge him a $30 late fee. So he calls up the credit card, gets the late fee removed but I told him that was it, I was taking over paying the bills and it has been like that since.

DH also has an aversion (for some reason) to online billing and accounts. He prefers the old fashioned way of doing bills by looking at the bills as they arrive in the mail and calling the bank on the phone to check a balance and basically anything that didn't involve online involvement. I on the other hand check my credit cards and checking accounts very regularly. If a credit card payment is posted, I know about it within a day or two. If a bill is due, I know about it as soon as the bill is posted. I don't know if I would've been so willing to take over the bills if the online capabilities weren't there.
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