Married Couples & Bank Accounts

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by mattbrent, Mar 14, 2014.


For married couples, how do you arrange your bank accounts?

  1. All bank accounts are separate for each spouse

    1 vote(s)
  2. All bank accounts are jointly held

    10 vote(s)
  3. There are both separate and jointly held bank accounts

    1 vote(s)
  1. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator

    I 100% agree with this.

    The only thing I don't like about our having one joint account for the last 16+ years is that it does make it a little difficult to surprise her with the occasional present.
  2. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    But maybe joint property (such as house or car) can be seized to settle any debt she incurs.
  3. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    Til Debt Do Us Part, Money Problems, Couples, Financial Reality, Bankruptcy Financial Future - CNBC is a show we watch - she helps people who are in or on their way into financial difficulties. She is a big advocate of using only cash and accounting for every penny spent via a log. Credit Cards are the worst as they allow people to spend money they (often) don't really have with the "I'll pay it back later when I have money" attitude. We have 2 CCs, no balance - we pay them off within 3 weeks to avoid interest but get airmiles and points.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    My take:

    (1) All your neighbours say they are doing this, anyway. Smile: In these days of historically low rates, I'd like to know where they're getting these super yields!

    (2) I think TEKMAN is onto something. No monthly payment, today OR tomorrow, is much cheaper. What you said is the kind of logic used by mortgtage lenders, to sell their product. Even at a low rate, you'll pay for two houses over the term of a mortgage! It's a lot of cash to fork up - but if you have it -- it works.

    (3) These perks are pretty darn small potatoes, considering what they're making in interest. I get free chequing -- and all I had to be is old. :smile:

    One man here said he can't talk to his wife about money - she gets offended etc.. Another came right out and said he couldn't trust his wife, due to past acts. I'm not going there any further, but it seems to me both these are major issues. Any problems in the actual handling of dollars and cents appears to be secondary.

    But you needn't take my opinion. Why should you? I'm divorced - nearly 30 years now.
    We argued plenty, but there were two things we never argued about:

    (a) Money. Because there simply wasn't any.
    (b) The kids. Because she was always right.

  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Just thought about it a bit.

    In the US, mortgage interest is tax-deductible. Here it isn't so simple - and I was thinking in Canadian mode.
    Only interest on money borrowed for investments is tax-deductible here. No other interest at all. There is a scheme here whereby Canadians may do it by:

    (1) Paying off an existing mortgage, then
    (2) Borrowing money to purchase investments, securing the loan with a new mortgage.

    It's a darn lot of trouble and only used by people in pretty high brackets, with fancy portfolios etc.

    I still stick by my theory. You are able deduct mortgage interest payments from your taxable income in the US, but you've still got to fork out those payments in the first place. In TEKMAN's method - you simply don't. Few can do it though - kudos to TEKMAN. From his previous posts on the subject, he obviously can. That takes a lot of work!

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2014
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'm good with revealing my finances on a discussion board. Where do I enter my account number and PIN?
  7. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    If you have a good financial advisor he/she should be able to get at least 6% return on investments.
    Over 20 years both my 401K and my separate investments have returned an average of 9% (some years negative and some years positive).
  8. suelaine

    suelaine Member

    Interesting. Most posts here about women over spending, etc. I have the opposite problem but have been married for 19 years and do think our differences are workable and I can live with his overspending most of the time, and do manage to reign it in to some extent. Yes, we have discussed it and yes we try to compromise. I guess that is how we still manage to be together and actually have a good marriage, overall.

    I am the frugal one in the family. We both work and currently make similar amounts of money.
    Four months after marrying my current husband, I got myself my own bank account. At the time I was making less than 1/3 what he was making. I was a substitute teacher. But I quickly saw he spent every bit of his own paycheck and if there was anything left of mine, he spent that too. And then, if he wanted more (which he always did) he put it on a credit card.
    I don't and can't live like that.
    It has worked well for us to keep separate accounts even though we own property together and do both contribute fairly equally to many of our bills. By having separate accounts, I can clearly show him the "facts" about his spending rather than us both making accusations against each other about where the money goes. We still have our separate accounts but recently added our names to each other's accounts as authorized on the account. We don't actually use these separate accounts differently but as we get older we realized that it would be a good idea to be on each other's accounts.
  9. perrymk

    perrymk Member

    As this is the off topic forum I'll get a little off topic with my reply. I wish I could take credit for the idea but its one I read although I do not recall where.

    For those who must have a credit card (if one's job requires travel, one must rent a car and thus a CC is required), keep the CC in a ledger, like a checkbook ledger. Use a small notebook if that is more convenient. Record all charges and payments in the ledger. The benefit is two-fold. 1. It's hard not to know how much you're spending. Sometimes just seeing the number is enough to avoid unnecessary spending. 2. It's easier to spot and report fraudulent charges. When my CC was used without my knowledge I think the customer service guy was shocked that I had a list of all legitimate charge amounts and dates.

    If it does come to contemplating divorce, one divorced guy I spoke with said "The longer the cab ride, the higher the fare." I'm sure divorce is a bitter pill to swallow regardless.
  10. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    All of this is very upsetting to me, the secrecy and deception! I'm going to risk over-sharing a bit- The biggest fight of my 21 year marriage was over $20. My father in law gave my husband $20 behind my back. He didn't forget to tell me, he opted NOT to tell me. This was about 5 years ago, and I have to say, that was the one and only time I almost walked. I literally considered divorce, because in my opinion, the money is irrelevant, it's a marriage issue. I can only say that within the past year do I feel confident that we are back to where we were before that incident. Transparency and trust are so huge (for me), I can't even fathom the casualty some of you are discussing hiding things from your spouses. I'm not judging, I'm just saying. I can't even be friends with someone who I think isn't transparent. I just don't understand the direction of this thread.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2014
  11. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    Right here:

  12. major56

    major56 Active Member

  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Me neither! That's a minefield! Holy cow!

    Someone else said it's better to concentrate on investments and carry a mortgage. "A good financial advisor can get you 6%."

    Well, maybe -- but you have to pay him/her something for the effort and you're paying 3 1/2% (if you're lucky) on the mortgage - so in effect, you're only making 2 1/2%. Less, if the mortgage costs you more or you have higher-interest debts.

    If you can eliminate or reduce debt, I think it makes sense to make that first priority. Overall, you can often make a combined rate approaching bupkis if you're still paying interest, no matter what. But I'm no expert. That's just my take - and basic math. If some other approach works for you -- I wish you well. :smile: Write a book sometime!

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2014

Share This Page