Modern couples shun joint bank accounts
YOUNG Australians are no longer feeling the love for shared bank accounts, according to a ME survey of 2000 transaction account holders.
Of those in married and de facto relationships, 71 per cent said they shared a joint account.
But this proportion fell with age to:
• 54 per cent of Gen Z (18–24-year-olds)
• 68 per cent of Gen Y (25–39-year-olds)
• 70 per cent of Gen X (40–54-year-olds)
• 76 per cent of Baby Boomers (55–74-year-olds)
Of those who kept their finances separate, over a third (36 per cent) said the primary driver was financial independence, closely followed by a desire for privacy (13 per cent) and a lack of trust in their partner’s spending habits (11 per cent).
The key events that triggered couples to open a joint account included: getting married (52 per cent), moving in together (19 per cent) and purchasing a home (17 per cent).
The pros for joint accounts
The majority of married and de facto couples (72 per cent) said joint bank accounts build trust and a closer relationship.
A further 71 per cent said joint accounts are useful for managing dayto-day spending and 64 per cent said joint accounts make them accountable to sticking to a budget or plan.
The cons for joint accounts
Slightly less than a third (30 per cent) of married and de facto couples said merging money could lead to arguments.
Of those that thought joint accounts could lead to arguments, nearly half (48 per cent) thought joint accounts could even cause a break-up or lead to divorce.
Furthermore, 38 per cent of married and de facto couples admitted to feeling ‘guilty’ when spending money from their joint account for their own purposes.
ME Money Expert Matthew Read said he’s not surprised younger Australians are less enamoured of joint accounts.
“As with all things, younger generations tend to question what was once assumed and the traditional expectation that couples share accounts may be part of that questioning.
“Australians are also getting married later and by the time they commit they’re set in their independent money habits.
“Another reason for the shift may be related to the growing financial independence of women and their desire to have a bank account of their own and more control over their finances.”
Read added: “there are practical benefits that can come from sharing accounts, but paradoxically, having separate accounts and shared lives can force each individual in a relationship to talk more about money together and to share that responsibility.”