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Creating & Managing A Joint Account With Your Spouse

Sanesh Mathew

Rohan got married around March this year. He was sure that Riya was his soulmate. But, this happy fairy tale was rather short-lived. The reason? MONEY, of course. A few weeks down the line, they started quarrelling over their monthly expenses. The arguments were endless. Unfortunately, they were unable to find their financial groove and it resulted in both parting ways.

Relatable, isn’t it? Most of us, especially the married lot, know that financial discussions get heated up and usually end up ugly. Money is one of the major causes of fights in relationships. But the solution is quite simple. Any guesses? No, it’s not a divorce! Just create and manage a joint account together. Yes, it’s that simple! This is the easiest and most sensible way to strengthen your marriage and finances.

Merging your accounts with your spouse is a personal choice. But if you choose to do so (and we advise that you do), then here are a few tips to get started:

  • Make a complete list of all the accounts that you and your spouse hold. List out your savings accounts, Credit Cards and even all the debts you have. Once you’ve listed everything out, you should decide on which accounts you want to keep and the ones you want to close. This decision is crucial before you consolidate your accounts.
  • The next step is to include both your names on all the accounts that you want to keep. After this, you can close all the unwanted accounts. Remember to change any automatic payments or direct debits that you’ve set up with the accounts before closing them.
  • Access to accounts shouldn’t be restricted to just one person. Make sure that you and your spouse have open and equal access to all your merged accounts. Both of you should know the usernames and passwords to all the accounts. This will help keep a check on reckless spending by either of you.
  • Have open conversations about your accounts, your expenditure, and your goals. At least once a week, you and your spouse should sit down and talk about your finances. This not only ensures that you both are on the same page financially, but you get the chance to plan your purchases and outings as well.

    As we discussed earlier, poorly managed finances can turn your lovey-dovey relationship into a tragedy. But if you’re willing to get your financial feet wet by opening a joint account with your spouse, then here’s why it is indeed a great idea:

    Better Communication About Your Finances

    Usually, couples hardly discuss their finances. They hardly ever question each other about their spending habits. In the long term, this is actually not a wise thing to do. Why? Well, because neither of you will know what debt you’re getting into as a family.

    Having a joint account not only encourages communication with each other about finances, but it also helps keep a check on each of your spending habits. In addition, it helps rule out financial secrets between you and your spouse. Both of you will be honest about your earnings and expenditure, saving you from a potential financial mess of any sort.

    Proper Budgeting And Savings

    The best part about having a joint account is that it makes it easy to track your expenditure. Since all your money is in one place, it is easy to keep a tab on the outflow. And when you know how much money is coming in and how much you’re spending, creating a proper budget and sticking to it becomes effortless.

    With a proper budget in place, you can kick out unnecessary expenses and thereby accumulate more savings than before.

    Financial Responsibility

    A joint account instils a rather strong sense of responsibility in you and your spouse. Both of you will be equally responsible for your financial future. Relieved much? We bet you are!

    Also, don’t worry about losing your financial independence. Remember that you’re just being open and honest about your finances, including purchase decisions.

    Sharing Is Caring

    No ‘my money, your money’! You’re committed to each other and you share almost everything with each other, don’t you? Then, why not your finances?

    BankBazaar.com is India’s leading online marketplace for loans and credit cards.