Modern cou­ples shun joint bank ac­counts

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - NEWS -

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.”

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