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Joint vs Separate Accounts

If you’re married, or about to be, I have a question for you. Do you have money in your own name?

Even if you’re blissfully in love with each other, even if (s)he’s filthy rich or a financial genius, it’s critical to have your own economic identity–a bank account and credit card in your own name.

In part, it’s a matter of self-protection. If anything happens to your Prince(ss) Charming, you could be in big trouble.

Oh, the horror stories I’ve heard from women who couldn’t get credit or had all kinds of legal problems after losing a spouse through death or divorce because everything was listed under their spouse’s name.

Also, since money is the #1 source of marital spats, having separate accounts could bring more harmony into your relationship. As Stephanie Sarkis pointed out in Psychology Today, “the less you argue about money, the closer you will feel to your partner.”

But there’s also a psychological component. A separate financial identity, even while maintaining shared accounts, makes a major personal statement.

It has nothing to do with the relationship. It has everything to do with your self-concept and sense of autonomy.

Putting money in your name is about growing up, becoming an adult, claiming your sovereignty over your own life.

Is money a source of strife or harmony in your relationship? Leave me a comment below.

Comments & Feedback

  • Lisa

    I disagree with statements Dave Ramsey makes regarding if you don’t combine your bank account with your spouse, your marriage is a sham! He also believes couples who are not legally married are a sham, too!

    I opened my first bank account at the tender age of 7. Convincing my father to let me have it was a big obstacle I overcame. He said it’s “not for little girls”. I could not close that account down or merge it with anyone!

    I started working part time jobs when I was 13 and investing when I was 15. I thought it was so cool to have a job! I loved watching my money grow and having money I could do whatever I liked with!

    I can honestly say I wouldn’t be as motivated to work and study hard if all my savings and salary went into my husband’s bank account! He absolutely loves it that I don’t need to dig into his account and that he can take me out to dinner or buy me a birthday present without it coming from our family money!

    Having separate accounts has been so harmonious! I get annoyed with him about other things, but never annoyed with him about money!

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Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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