Joint vs. Separate Savings Accounts

Money is the most frequent cause of arguments in a marriage. People have such different views on how to spend what they make (and sometimes, what they don’t make) that if not handled properly, money issues could be the cause of stress, and potentially divorce, in an otherwise sound marriage.

It’s for this reason, that the issue of opening joint vs. separate savings accounts causes fierce debates. Some feel that in order for the couple to be married, they must share everything, including bank accounts. While others feel that different spending habits could result in more tension. So instead of making an argument in either favor, let’s look at some pros and cons of each.

Benefits of Joint Savings Accounts

There are some huge benefits to a joint savings account for married couple. Here are a few of them:

  • Money grows more quickly. Of course, the more money you have to put into a savings account, the more quickly it can grow. With both of you contributing, it could grow twice.
  • Interest can grow quicker. If you open an account that increases interest returns based on the balance, you can inherit a higher interest rate, which will give you even more money in the pot.
  • It can create a bond in the relationship. Because you are sharing in the duties of saving for your future, and building upon a common goal, you can feel a sense of bonding since you both helped contribute to your nest egg.

Downsides of Joint Savings Accounts

However, just as there are benefits, there can be downsides to joint accounts. If one spouse has reckless spending habits, the other spouse could become resentful that money is disappearing out of “their” account without caution. So before opening a joint account, it’s good to sit down and decide how money will be saved (and spent if needed).

Benefits of Separate Savings Accounts

On the other hand, there can be some good benefits to married couples opening separate savings accounts:

  • Fewer debates about money. If the couple decides to open separate accounts, you can both save toward a joint future without debates on exactly how much money is saved each week/month.
  • More freedom. If you’ve already decided how you will come together for joint financial projects, you can experience the freedom of contributing to the cause while still having a sense of freedom with your own paycheck.

Downsides of Separate Savings Accounts

The problem with separate accounts, however, is that many couples feel there is no teamwork or marriage component involved. It’s for this reason that some come up with a compromise of opening a joint savings account for financial projects, as well as separate checking accounts.

Which Type of Account is Right for Your Relationship?

Every married couple has a different dynamic and therefore should communicate well to determine which scenario will work for them. There isn’t a right or wrong answer, just the one that’s best for you.