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Three Reasons Why You Should Keep Your Personal Checking Accounts Separate

It is tempting for many couples, including those that are married, to open a joint checking account. However, this can lead to some challenges. Here are just three reasons why you should keep your personal checking accounts separate from your partner's or spouse's.

You Will Not Become Dependent on the Other Persons's Income

A monumental problem with united finances is that sometimes one partner becomes dependent on the other's income. During times of financial hardship when one of you has lost your job, that becomes an acceptable situation. However, when one partner or spouse uses the other's income to fund whatever he or she wants and creates an unhealthy monetary dependency, that can lead to some very negative feelings, hostility, and even divorce (or the termination of the relationship). When you keep separate accounts, the only money you know you can depend on is your own, and you are only drawing on what is yours.

Overdrafts Are Your Own Fault

It's difficult to determine who is at fault for overdrafts on joint checking accounts. This also creates negative feelings and fights over fiscal responsibility. When the accounts are kept separate, your overdrafts on your account are your own fault, as are your partner's/spouse's overdrafts on his or her account. Then the only person you can get mad at is yourself, and you cut back on the blaming and fights over money.

The Account Cannot Be Drained, Leaving You With Nothing

Unfortunately, there are a small percentage of cases when joint accounts are emptied by an upset partner who then skips town and leaves the other account holder with nothing. Trying to reclaim what was yours can be hassle when you have to file the police report and prove how much of the money in that account was yours versus what your spouse/partner contributed. Since amounts over ten thousand dollars turn your case into grand larceny rather than petty theft, you have to prove that that money was yours, which is often very time-consuming and difficult to do. 

If your spouse or partner argues that you should still have a joint account, agree to contribute a very small amount to a joint checking account every month. This compromise can establish a fund for joint purchases such as furniture and home repairs, while still protecting you financially. Talk to a bank like FCN Bank near you and ask about what checking account options they have available.