Image by Jazz Guy, Houston, TX
For many couples, getting a joint account is a key milestone in their partnership. An average of six in ten couples open a joint account and combine their finances when they deem their relationship to be ‘serious'. Tying the knot financially, and opening this kind of account, can be useful for couples with joint financial responsibilities, especially for those who share a home, as it can prove an efficient way of managing bills and other household costs.
However, problems with the economic climate have led to increased concerns regarding the trust aspect of the joint account. Many people worry about the safety of their finances should they choose to invest them in an account with their partner. Worries range from not wanting their other halves to see the ins and outs of their expenditure to concerns regarding what will happen to their money if things go wrong in the relationship.
This article will explore some of the key pros and cons associated with the joint account, to help couples make well-informed and balanced decisions.
Potential advantages of the joint account
- If you open up a joint regular savings account with your partner you may benefit from a better interest rate - if you are able to put away more each month as a partnership.
- By paying in a set amount of money each month to cover household outgoings and necessities, this can prove an efficient way of ensuring that bills are paid and both parties have contributed.
- Knowing that both partners are contributing an agreed amount into the joint account can also help to avoid arguments about ‘who paid what and when,' as both the incomings and outgoings of the account can be easily identified.
- You can retain some separation of finances if you wish to do so. After all, you don't have to pay all of your money into the joint account; you can agree on a percentage of your earnings which you will both pay in.
- If you are hoping to borrow money, two people with two incomes will often be able to borrow more than one person.
- The Financial Services Compensation Scheme provides savings protection for up to £85,000 for individuals, therefore savings in joint accounts could be protected up to £170,000, because the compensation amount applies per person per provider.
Potential disadvantages of the joint account
- One of the key concerns for partners regarding the joint account is that fact that, to an extent, their partner will have access to their money and will be able to see exactly what they spend through the joint account.
- If your partner does turn out to be financially unreliable and withdraws money from your joint account without your permission, it could prove difficult to get your share back.
- One partner's bad credit history could reflect negatively on the other party when it comes to credit agreements and suchlike.
If you are considering a joint account, it is important to ensure that you have weighed up the pros and cons thoroughly, and ensure that you have a strong level of trust in the person you are sharing your finances with. Shopping around for the smartest saving option and obtaining financial advice where appropriate can help you get the most out of your money.
This post was written by John Hughes who is the resident blogger at www.independentfinancialadvisor.co.uk, a site that provides access to financial advisors as well as to debt advice charities for those struggling with their debts.