scorecardresearchShould you join your bank accounts after marriage? Here are 4 things to consider

Should you join your bank accounts after marriage? Here are 4 things to consider

Updated: 10 May 2022, 09:00 AM IST
TL;DR.

There is no straight answer to the question of whether couples must handle money matters jointly or separately. “To each, his own” is the guiding mantra. Ideally, couples must wait and assess each other’s behavior before taking the final plunge to discuss their finances. 

Do not let money be the spoil sport in your marriage.

Do not let money be the spoil sport in your marriage.

Money can complicate even the most intimate of relationships. While marriage is all about shared relationships, managing money jointly can be tricky. Getting a joint account where you both can contribute helps to manage bills, avail benefits on joint savings accounts and fend off sudden money liabilities. Most couples decide on pooling their money, accounts and investments. In some societies, it is a norm for couples to have joint lockers and investments. However, one size does not fit well, which means what works for one couple may not be the right choice for another.

We see many couples debating on whether they must keep their finances separate or handle them together. Many couples urge to keep money matters separate and thereby simple. After all, taking a few vows or signing a piece of paper should not change the way we look at finances, though a relook at savings and investments is most needed to sustain and strengthen the fiscal aspect of a relationship. While there is no single right way for couples to manage their money, taking an individual approach to money matters to some extent should not hurt that much.

Difference in outlook

Your outlook toward money has a direct bearing on how you handle money. You may be a penny pincher while your better half loves to squander his earnings on the good things in life. Now spending from that joint account or paying with a credit card connected with your joint account means that you witness your contributions to that account being wasted. This contradictory behaviour may not sit well in a relationship, which means keeping your savings separate till you both reach a consensus would help you both to maintain both finances and sanity in the relationship.

An unequal footing

Marriages may be made in heaven but relationships are decided on earth. It takes an awful lot of understanding and compromise to make a marriage work, especially, when you both may have started on an unequal footing. For example, you may be earning more than your husband. Add to your salary, the perks and bonuses, and you suddenly feel like being the boss at your house. But wait! Marriages are supposed to run on a partnership basis with you both enjoying equal rights and sharing equal responsibilities. In matters like these, it is better to withhold certain information about your salary, savings and investments. With time, you may start telling your partner how you have ensured a secure financial future for you both. But to avoid unnecessary complexes and retain peace, be prudent to discuss your money at the right time.

Be prepared

Not all is love and roses in a relationship. You might have to tackle the thorns too. Many couples vouch for selfless love only to realize their folly later. It is needless to say that cracks do develop in a relationship. While you are enjoying your good times together, be mentally prepared to face the worst too. In times like these, it is advisable to be shrewd about your money. Be sensible not to spill out details of how much you earn, save and invest.

Death is another fact that separates couples. Whatever be the reason, one of the partners gets left behind. To survive you need money, which means that clarity regarding money matters is necessary so that the surviving partner does not have to live hand to mouth. If you have bought a term insurance plan to financially secure your partner, ensure that he or she knows about it. After all, insurance is bought to secure the life ahead of the nominee mentioned in the policy.

Don’t be money-centric

Money should not be the focus of your relationship. It is okay if your partner goes on a spending spree sometimes. Do not let money take centre stage in your relationship. Learn to relent to your partner’s behaviour at times. Discuss your money matters over a cup of coffee. Do not crib or fight over money lost or spent. If your partner is not good at handling money, it is better to take matters into your own hands. You need not keep your partner abreast of all your financial details unless the time is right. In the end, the success of your relationship depends on how you iron out your differences than create differences over innocuous and trivial money matters.

Article
Financial planning for geopolitical crisis. 
First Published: 10 May 2022, 09:00 AM IST