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