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Should Spouses Have Joint Bank Accounts?

Should Spouses Have Joint Bank Accounts?

  • An expert explains the pros and cons of sharing a bank account.

When it comes to money, we all know someone that has big opinions about merging everything together with your spouse or keeping bank accounts separate. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), 72% of adults report feeling stressed about money, and financial issues are consistently one of the top causes of marital problems. So there’s no question this can be a contentious topic up for debate –  I actually have friends that swear by one or the other as being The Best Way.

Whenever we have questions like this, we always like to consult with experts at Progress Bank to answer our frequently asked questions that help parents (like us!) become financially literate.

Joint Bank Accounts Pros & Cons

Alex Hightower at Progress Bank says it’s important to know the differences between those two account options.

With an Individual account you’re the only person that has access to those funds. Period. If there’s an emergency, or if you were to pass away, those funds are locked up. A way to alleviate that is to set up a “Transfer On Death” account and designate your spouse or partner as the primary beneficiary.

With a Joint Account, both people have equal access to the funds at all times.

Alex strongly recommends consulting your bank partners when you’re setting up accounts to ask about other options that are available to you. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing – a combo of both joint accounts and separate accounts can provide both the financial transparency needed in a relationship and personal autonomy.

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