My husband and I have been together for more than six years (and married for just a little more than a year). We’ve lived together for about half the time we’ve been together and during that time, talk of sharing a bank account has come up a handful of times, especially after we were engaged.
We’re both financially responsible – while he’s more of a saver than I am, we both understand the importance of paying bills on time, not living above our means and saving for our future. But at the end of every conversation, we always decide that it’s in our best interest to not share a bank account.
In our minds, it will put our relationship at more of a risk than the convenience of being able to pay bills from the same place. Fighting about money is one of the biggest stressors in a relationship – so why fix something that isn’t broke?
Now, we don’t have kids, and maybe that will change things, but we will never completely share our money and here’s why: I never want to financially dependent on another person.
My parents always taught me to be financially independent because as a woman, not having financial independence can mean the difference between staying in a bad situation and living the life you want.
“No matter what you decide about whether to merge your finances or not – always have an account that’s only yours,” my mom always said. She wasn’t saying not to trust my husband or to be selfish with my money, but to always make sure that I had options if I needed them.
There’s an article making its way around the internet called “The Story of The F*ck Off Fund.” It’s a “choose your own adventure” scenario that shows the all too common choice women need to make when it comes to their finances after they graduate and get their first job. Do you spend your money for the clothes and trips and risk not being able to leave a bad situation? Or do you make sacrifices in the beginning so that you can continue to have choices?
Now, I trust my husband completely – I wouldn’t have married him if I didn’t. But who knows what could happen. One day he could no longer be in my life and what would I do then if I don’t know how to take care of myself financially? And at the end of the day, I was able to make the choice to marry or not marry him because I chose to be financially independent from a very young age.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share a bank account with your significant other – that’s just a choice that I’ve made based on many different factors. But as women, we do need to take charge of our financial health and make sure we’re making smart choices from the start as well as teaching the next generation of women how to be financially independent.
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Hi Katelyn! Not sure if you remember me, but you advised my campaigns group last spring – Brick Road PR ?
Great article! My fiance and I became engaged in September but we’ve been together for 6 years, too, and have talked about this a handful of times. We’ve come to the same conclusion – to stay financially separate for the time being. We pay bills and split groceries and outings just fine without a shared account, and it allows me to still feel independent and guilt-free with how I spend my own money. Also, my mom always gave me the same advice so I think that help put me into that mindset – mothers know best! ?
I do remember you…thanks for commenting! Moms do always know best ?
Married for 9 nine years (and 9 years of dating before that) and we still do not share bank accounts for all the reasons mentioned. It is healthy to have and manage your own money, while sharing expenses (oh by the way, in proportion to each partners’ income, not necessarily 50/50). We recently got our first shared credit card, which also has “rules:” shared life expenses – groceries, gas, vacations, but not my Amy’s Shoes addiction… Like most things, communication is key.
Well written, and right on target for all women, irrespective of their relationship status. As an occupational health nurse employed in female dominated workplace, I have witnessed all too often the devastating effect on women and their children who have lost their means of financial support. Many choose to stay in a bad relationship suffering unspeakable consequences.
Thanks for sharing your opinion Katelyn.
My husband and I have been married for 11 years and we keep separate accounts. Both of us work and we each bank our own checks into our own accounts. We do have one joint saving account that we use for any joint cash gifts (wedding, anniversary, tax refunds, etc). It’s from this savings account that we purchase big ticket items. He pays mortgage & utilities while I tackle shopping (groceries, clothes, gifts). We each pay for our own cars and split dinners out. The key for us is that we carry NO credit card debt and we trust each other not to spend beyond our means. Added bonus is that should something happen (ID theft, lost ATM card), the other accounts are protected. It works great for us!