Should couples have joint bank accounts?

Surprisingly only a third of couples have a joint account with their partners and as little as one in five duos that are ether married, cohabiting or sleeping in the same bed choose to pool their resources. So why are we so reluctant to share our pennies with our other halves?

With Christmas around the corner it is very likely that couples might find themselves in the midst of a few present buying arguments as their spending habits are illuminated by the festive lights. When it comes to joint accounts there is the possibility one party might spend a great deal more than the other. As The Guardian put it, “A man might look at their five-page bank statement and think: Why does my wife have to buy a present for each and every one of her 14 friends when I buy none for mine?” A woman might resent that her husband spent £200 on his mother when she gave hers a £50 M&S voucher.” However, those without joint accounts might find that one party might be landing with all the buying when the other can’t be bothered. The tighter the money the more squabbles you are likely to have.

Recent research conducted by the Skinton Building Society in 2006 found that only 32 percent of couples now have a joint credit card. Thirty-six per cent have a joint savings account, while 21 per cent prefer to keep their money in their own names.

Studies suggest that more than half of couples argue about their finances with many believing that the other is ether irresponsible with money or living beyond their means. The arrangement that seems to work the best is for each couple to have their own independent account and them for them to share a third joint account which can be used for household bills and expenses. This way they can feel like they are both contributing fairly to the household but they don’t have to justify their personal spending to their partner.

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Written by Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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