One of the big financial decisions you must make as a couple post wedding is whether to keep a joint account or not. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am totally not a fan of joint accounts and I hope you will forgive me for my position eventually.
A joint account is an account where more than one person has control over the management of that account. In essence, the control of inflows and spending from those accounts are managed by two or more people. Couples who keep a joint account accept joint responsibility for the management of the resource that reside in that account.
Joint accounts, in my opinion, usually involve a process where the man’s money belongs to everyone but the woman’s money belongs to HER!
Don’t get me wrong, a big advantage of a joint bank account is that there is a reduced chance of discovering financial “shocks” when all money goes into and comes out of one account that both of you can see. Couples may find it easier to keep track of their finances because all expenses come out of one account
On the flip side, however, some individuals may find it very challenging losing their financial independence post marriage – despite the union of marriage being generally interpreted to mean the loss of individuality and the birth of two becoming one. This change can be a shock and capable of straining relationships. I confess that I am one of such people. I simply can’t handle accounting my everyday spend to anyone. I would be very uncomfortable with my spouse knowing how much money I give my mum or when my brother asks for a loan I can afford? Get my drift?
Another major issue I have with joint accounts is the likelihood of one of the parties failing to manage their spending or keep to an agreed plan. If you were married to an impulsive spender or an addicted shopper, your family could become very broke, very quickly if that spender holds the family credit card. On the other hand, imagine if a philandering spouse keeps a joint account… there will be big big fights in that family
With the increasing rate of divorces and separations in Nigeria today, a joint account can become a major issue in settling the distribution of assets. If such a marriage breaks down, you should expect significant “fights” to determine who is entitled to what and why
Married couples can choose to maintain separate accounts whilst also running a joint account in which they deposit an agreed portion of their income. This provides the benefits of a joint account and the independence of individual finances.
Whichever choice you make, trust, mutual respect and prudence will always be critical in ensuring you have a long and happy marriage – Femi OladehinTWEET THIS QOUTE
My preference remains for us to keep individual accounts, agree who pays which bills, save jointly for the family and allow some independence to each party. Live and let live!