My part­ner and I live to­gether but don’t have a joint bank ac­count. Are we miss­ing a trick?

Women's Health Australia - - ASK WOMEN’S HEALTH -

Po­ten­tially. Ev­ery cou­ple is dif­fer­ent, but there are clear ben­e­fits to shar­ing an ac­count, says wealth coach Lisa Bar­ber. “The pri­mary ben­e­fit is for trans­parency of ex­penses. It gives a clear snap­shot of the al­lo­ca­tion of money in ver­sus money out.” So, if you take turns to do the gro­cery shop, but you bar­gain-dive at Aldi while your part­ner splashes cash at the or­ganic whole­foods shop, you’ll be able to eas­ily see whose ex­penses are higher. The down­side? “Any money left in the ac­count can be ac­cessed by ei­ther party, leav­ing vul­ner­a­bil­ity if [you] were to sep­a­rate,” says Bar­ber. One way to get around this? Have your salary go into your per­sonal ac­count from which you pay for non-es­sen­tial items, and then trans­fer a set amount per month into a joint ac­count that covers bills, gro­ceries, in­sur­ance – every­thing you share as a duo. This way, you get a bal­ance be­tween in­de­pen­dence (so you can hit up that Stylerun­ner sale without ex­pla­na­tion) and co­op­er­a­tion. Plus, no chas­ing down your SO be­cause they haven’t trans­ferred you for the gas bill yet. “Re­mem­ber, money is the num­ber one cause for divorce and sep­a­ra­tion,” cau­tions Bar­ber. “Es­tab­lish­ing clear agree­ments and ex­pec­ta­tions will help you win the game.” Go for gold.

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