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Thread: Should couples have joint or separate bank accounts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by msommers View Post
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    A spouse could drain the communal accounts, investments etc and then put all that money into a private account only in that one person's name... And the other spouse has no recourse to get half back? Wtf.
    When you agree on joint accounts you give the other person unlimited access and decision making ability regarding the funds in those accounts. Only one person's permission is needed to make a withdraw, and either of you can empty the account at any time. The money in a joint account legally belongs to both of you. If one person becomes mentally ill or wants revenge or whatever similar sort of scenario arises, the other person is SOL. The courts obviously frown on this behavior (if obviously malicious), but there aren't always ways to recoup the losses (especially if they spent it) and from what I've read there are loopholes that can make draining accounts appear more legitimate (such as to cover lawyer fees for the pending divorce, living expenses while apart, etc.) I'm sure there are people here more knowledgeable than me on the matter, but that is what my research has revealed.

    IMHO it is a very good idea to have mutually protective things in place like a prenup, separate accounts, etc. The key is to make sure that everything put in place protects both parties equally, so then there is no reason not to do it because it provides insurance for the unexpected. For example, if in 20 years I become mentally ill, am no longer myself, etc. and decide to do something reckless or out of character, I want my wife to be protected from that, however unlikely.
    Last edited by Mitsu3000gt; 08-12-2019 at 02:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
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    ...

    I was thinking more like if you were the CEO of an O&G company or some other multi-millionaire scenario. It's pretty unlikely that your SO is going to make anywhere near the same money, or be able to afford a remotely similar lifestyle - at that point you need to pretty much come to terms that you will be paying for everything if you want to maintain that lifestyle with someone else who will probably grow to have similar tastes for the finer things.
    I don't mean to jump on you specifically, but this seems to be a somewhat common sentiment and it sounds absolutely bananas to me...

    My spouse, wife, ride or die, partner in crime, mother of my children not being able to afford a similar lifestyle if I make a lot more money? WTF? It's our lifestyle and without each other, it's nothing... "No, I'm not buying clothes at Walmart; that's more your lifestyle"... "I was thinking of going to Vegas for the weekend... Are you sure you can afford to supersize that?"...

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    Quote Originally Posted by you&me View Post
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    I don't mean to jump on you specifically, but this seems to be a somewhat common sentiment and it sounds absolutely bananas to me...

    My spouse, wife, ride or die, partner in crime, mother of my children not being able to afford a similar lifestyle if I make a lot more money? WTF? It's our lifestyle and without each other, it's nothing... "No, I'm not buying clothes at Walmart; that's more your lifestyle"... "I was thinking of going to Vegas for the weekend... Are you sure you can afford to supersize that?"...
    That's OK I don't think your'e picking on me, I find it a very interesting topic to discuss as it's one most of us can relate to in one way or another.

    I think either you're misunderstanding, or more likely maybe I just didn't explain it well. Due to the fact that it would be completely ridiculous to do the things you mention (i.e. not allow your SO / family to enjoy the same lifestyle you were accustomed to before marriage/kids), if you are the person who makes 5x or 10x or whatever the salary of the other, you need to be OK with the fact that you are going to be paying for virtually everything in order to maintain that lifestyle for your family. For some people this is a sore spot (probably more in the less extreme scenarios), but as I said in one of my earlier posts, presumably this is something that was fully understood and discussed before any major commitments (kids, marriage, etc.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
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    Due to the fact that it would be completely ridiculous to do the things you mention (i.e. not allow your SO / family to enjoy the same lifestyle you were accustomed to before marriage/kids), if you are the person who makes 5x or 10x or whatever the salary of the other, you need to be OK with the fact that you are going to be paying for virtually everything in order to maintain that lifestyle for your family.
    YOU aren't paying for anything. WE (the couple) pay for everything.

    I don't have money. She doesn't have money.

    WE have money. We are a unit and a team. How anyone could think otherwise re: their marriage is totally foreign to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A790 View Post
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    YOU aren't paying for anything. WE (the couple) pay for everything.

    I don't have money. She doesn't have money.

    WE have money. We are a unit and a team. How anyone could think otherwise re: their marriage is totally foreign to me.
    Word. When I was making zero dollars being unemployed, it was sure OUR money, and those years she was on maternity leave, it was sure OUR money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msommers View Post
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    A spouse could drain the communal accounts, investments etc and then put all that money into a private account only in that one person's name... And the other spouse has no recourse to get half back? Wtf.
    No recourse isn't exactly accurate. See A790's anecdote.

    There are legal penalties for hiding assets during a divorce. Likewise, if spending patterns drastically changed during one's attempt to financially sabotage, a judge can order said monies to be paid back.

    That said, no one wins when stuff like this happens but humans are strange creatures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A790 View Post
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    YOU aren't paying for anything. WE (the couple) pay for everything.

    I don't have money. She doesn't have money.

    WE have money. We are a unit and a team. How anyone could think otherwise re: their marriage is totally foreign to me.
    I understand what Mitsu was saying (or trying to), but this is more to my point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A790 View Post
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    YOU aren't paying for anything. WE (the couple) pay for everything.

    I don't have money. She doesn't have money.

    WE have money. We are a unit and a team. How anyone could think otherwise re: their marriage is totally foreign to me.
    I don't think anyone is arguing with you on that It's just easier to discuss the various ideas / methods in this thread in a more black and white manner.

    Also, what works for you doesn't mean it works for the next couple. Judging by how many people here seem to use the separate / 3 account method, there are obviously lots of different ways people view their finances as a couple. Some people like their financial autonomy despite being in a marriage, and there is nothing wrong with that if it works for those people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A790 View Post
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    YOU aren't paying for anything. WE (the couple) pay for everything.

    I don't have money. She doesn't have money.

    WE have money. We are a unit and a team. How anyone could think otherwise re: their marriage is totally foreign to me.
    I'm not married but like I said .. its a 9 year relationship.

    My money is mine.
    Her money is hers.

    If we need to pay for something then WE pitch in and get it done. There are times when I have more and cover more and there are times when she has more and she covers time.

    Its called give and take.

    Just because your in a relationship whether long term or married does not mean it instantly has to be come "we"

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    Quote Originally Posted by firebane View Post
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    Just because your in a relationship whether long term or married does not mean it instantly has to be come "we"
    Tell that to the government.

    EDIT: I'm also confused re: the "financial autonomy" comment. Why would you lose that in the first place? Why would you marry someone that wants to control you like that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    Life is a team sport. One of the big advantages of getting married is the practical benefits of combining everything and then delegating everything. This half-in, half-out business which is implied by separating finances hinders the overall capacity of the couple to focus on more productive aspects of their lives and careers. Couples that think like a unit are rewarded for it.
    Interesting... I totally agree. But where can one find such a fine specimen that understands the rules of the game..? All im finding in the market is that the other party wants everything on the plate(from me). Then they start eating everything on the plate and start talking about equality, everything should be 50/50, womens rights etc... All while giving me a grin while chewing and a intense stare of the crazy eyes...

    3af3bcf8db4463acd40919ae53113f9a--cartoon-eyes-big-eyes.jpg

    So on one occasion when it came to the bill I asked to go dutch.. you know...in the name of 'equality'...their face went sour..
    Oh the stories I could tell..

    Anyways... back to the discussion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by A790 View Post
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    YOU aren't paying for anything. WE (the couple) pay for everything.

    I don't have money. She doesn't have money.

    WE have money. We are a unit and a team. How anyone could think otherwise re: their marriage is totally foreign to me.
    New term: "married-ish".

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    Ive been married for 10 years, and we have always had separate day to day banking accounts... It works for us for several reasons:

    1. All together we have something like 6 bank accounts. (cheqing/savings etc) Each has its own purpose, and the other doesnt necessarily have to be involved with it. (Ie. Rental Property account)
    2. My Wifes bank account is attatched to her work account (Self employed) so that helps keep that separate for accounting/tax.
    3. We have split up our monthly costs roughly according to income.
    4. We are quite aware of each others income and basic expenses, and set aside roughly the same amount each month to a savings account.
    5. The above mentioned savings account is shared.. we try to only leave that for larger expenses-travel, furniture, kids stuff etc.

    While certainly not perfect I like to think we run a fairly tight ship expenses wise, so if for example my Wife accidentally took money out of the wrong account, it could mess up the rental property mortgage payment (No need to keep a float in that account) etc.

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    ...
    Last edited by Sugarphreak; 08-18-2019 at 05:33 PM.

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    Man, some people have trust issues, why get married then if you cant even trust someone with "money" let alone life.
    I'm married and I trust my wife with all my money and vice versa. She can spend whatever she wants and I can do the same. We trust each other that we wont bankrupt ourselves. Pretty simple.

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    3 accounts is easy & clean and it isn't an automatic sign of distrust or inequality. Although... Depending on the motivation, it could be. Fine, whatever.
    My cheque into "my" account and her cheque into "hers" then about 111% of our absolutely total, total, everything, living expenses gets deposited by each partner into the joint account where EVERYTHING gets spent from except truly selfish things that don't benefit anyone on the team.
    Some examples:
    Booze for house even if I drink most of it? Joint $.
    Go out without her after work for drinks? Selfish $.
    Gas in car that she drives 99% to work? Joint$.
    Gas in my motorcycle that she never touches? Selfish$.

    Some of examples that don't make sense but don't cause issues:
    My haircut? Selfish$.
    Her hair? Joint$. (These are by my choice).
    Insurance/reg/gas on a vehicle the one person never touches? Selfish$.
    Buy lunch at work even though joint$ already bought sandwiches I could've taken to work? Selfish$.
    Wife makes me fanciest lunch for work, ever and obviously I'm the only one eating it? Joint$.

    It's CRITICAL to break this system when tax refunds come because tax software spreads rebates all over the place and severe inequity can show up. Those cheques MUST be deposited to the joint account and redistributed, if needed. You can't have one partner magically getting an extra $10k from tax refunds because Ufile treated it like she paid for 100% of last year's daycare expenses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    Well, sounds fine then. I really like the 3-account system, I think it's nice and flexible, but still has reasonable accountability for keeping spending in check. It's worked great for my wife and I. Interesting that some people have 2 accounts and have the paycheques coming into the joint account (like me) and some have the paycheques doing into the individual accounts. One way makes it easier to "hide" money from the spouse, which I know some guys like to do.
    We have separate accounts, but it has nothing to do with hiding money. I have the statistically accurate marriage. Husband makes 80% of the income. My wife would never do anything malicious, but she just can't have access to an account with that much money going into it for reasons of simple human psychology. I know most people here like to pretend they have some perfect life, and that normal human factors somehow don't apply to them. But fact of the matter is, in general terms, people who make say 40k/yr, will struggle greatly with managing something like 200k/yr. We've all been there, when we used to make minimum wage and thinking if we could just make 20$/hr we would feel loaded. Next thing you know you're making 30$/hr and still no farther ahead, just driving a nicer car and living in a nicer house. My wife isn't exempt from these human normalities, so if she has what appears to be unlimited funds compared to her paychecks, suddenly wants start seeming like needs. Then you get a bunch of over spending on unnecessary stuff. Much easier for me to just manage the bills and deal with everything out of my own account. She has her own account that her paycheck goes to, and she can use that for her nails, hair, putting gas in her vehicle, etc.

    Speaking of hiding money though, it's not a terrible idea. Nobody goes into a marriage expecting they will get divorced in a few years, yet 50% of marriages end in divorce. So it's a good idea to be prepared. I worked with a guy that used to talk about this a lot as he had been through a terrible divorce. A lawyer informed him that in the future, you should do what they call skimming. You withdraw a few hundred dollars every paycheck, and squirrel it away somewhere, or buy gold with it. When all your financial records are being examined in the event of a divorce, that money will appear to be regular discretionary spending within reasonable limits. I don't do any of this myself, maybe I'll live to regret it one day, hope not.



    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    I'm still stuck on people willing to take HUGE plunges in their life, like marriage and all that it implies in terms of commitment, and then kids which dwarfs any other life commitment of any sort.

    but then when it comes to banking: "I WANT MAH BANK CARD"

    Life is a team sport. One of the big advantages of getting married is the practical benefits of combining everything and then delegating everything. This half-in, half-out business which is implied by separating finances hinders the overall capacity of the couple to focus on more productive aspects of their lives and careers. Couples that think like a unit are rewarded for it.
    This shows a lack of understanding about what a team actually is. Which is utilizing eachothers strengths to make up where the other is weak and form a good balance. If one of you is absolutely shit with money, then you would be retarded to give that person enough rope to hang themselves and ruin the entire relationship by giving them unfettered access to both incomes. If you're both amazing with money then power to you, joint everything!! In the real world that isn't very common.

    My thoughts are opposite to yours. Considering that fucking with money is the one thing more unforgiveable than infidelity. It blows me away that some people think like you and just dive in head first to the shallow end and combine everything. To each their own though, every couple is different and should find what works for them. There is no ignorant judgement from me.
    Last edited by Misterman; 08-13-2019 at 07:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonytiger55 View Post
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    So on one occasion when it came to the bill I asked to go dutch.. you know...in the name of 'equality'...their face went sour..
    Oh the stories I could tell..

    Anyways... back to the discussion...
    I dated a girl like that once...super rich (Parents were) She hated paying for anything. I couldn't keep up with her and her luxury lifestyle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misterman View Post
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    We have separate accounts, but it has nothing to do with hiding money. I have the statistically accurate marriage. Husband makes 80% of the income. My wife would never do anything malicious, but she just can't have access to an account with that much money going into it for reasons of simple human psychology. I know most people here like to pretend they have some perfect life, and that normal human factors somehow don't apply to them. But fact of the matter is, in general terms, people who make say 40k/yr, will struggle greatly with managing something like 200k/yr. We've all been there, when we used to make minimum wage and thinking if we could just make 20$/hr we would feel loaded. Next thing you know you're making 30$/hr and still no farther ahead, just driving a nicer car and living in a nicer house. My wife isn't exempt from these human normalities, so if she has what appears to be unlimited funds compared to her paychecks, suddenly wants start seeming like needs. Then you get a bunch of over spending on unnecessary stuff. Much easier for me to just manage the bills and deal with everything out of my own account. She has her own account that her paycheck goes to, and she can use that for her nails, hair, putting gas in her vehicle, etc.

    Speaking of hiding money though, it's not a terrible idea. Nobody goes into a marriage expecting they will get divorced in a few years, yet 50% of marriages end in divorce. So it's a good idea to be prepared. I worked with a guy that used to talk about this a lot as he had been through a terrible divorce. A lawyer informed him that in the future, you should do what they call skimming. You withdraw a few hundred dollars every paycheck, and squirrel it away somewhere, or buy gold with it. When all your financial records are being examined in the event of a divorce, that money will appear to be regular discretionary spending within reasonable limits. I don't do any of this myself, maybe I'll live to regret it one day, hope not.





    This shows a lack of understanding about what a team actually is. Which is utilizing eachothers strengths to make up where the other is weak and form a good balance. If one of you is absolutely shit with money, then you would be retarded to give that person enough rope to hang themselves and ruin the entire relationship by giving them unfettered access to both incomes. If you're both amazing with money then power to you, joint everything!! In the real world that isn't very common.

    My thoughts are opposite to yours. Considering that fucking with money is the one thing more unforgiveable than infidelity. It blows me away that some people think like you and just dive in head first to the shallow end and combine everything. To each their own though, every couple is different and should find what works for them. There is no ignorant judgement from me.
    What's statistically accurate about you is that you're going to get divorced.
    Last edited by ThePenIsMightier; 08-13-2019 at 07:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePenIsMightier View Post
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    What's statistically accurate about you is that your going to get divorced.

    Obviously. We have separate accounts. Duh.

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