People who are in romantic relationships don’t always see eye-to-eye on every single thing. You might be someone who prefers to enjoy a quiet weekend at home, while your spouse may be someone who likes to go out and try all of the hottest restaurants in town.
Similarly, you and your spouse may have different views on money. Your spouse might be someone who feels that it’s best to enjoy life and live in the moment — even if that means spending $900 a month on a nice car or $2,500 a month on a mortgage payment.
You, on the other hand, might be more financially conservative. You might prefer to spend less and put more money into a high-yield savings account.
It’s possible for people with different approaches to spending and saving to coexist harmoniously. But it’s also important to acknowledge that financial disagreements can be a huge source of ongoing marital strife.
Ramsey Solutions says that money is the No. 1 issue married couples argue about. And if you don’t want to see your marriage torn apart by financial conflict, then you and your spouse may want to consider opening separate bank accounts.
Chances are, you and your spouse have a large number of joint bills, like housing, transportation, and utilities. So it pays to have a single checking account you both contribute to that you can pay those essential bills out of.
But beyond that checking account for basic expenses, you and your spouse may want to maintain separate bank accounts for discretionary spending. That way, you can each retain control over some of your money and spend it (or not) as you please. The result? Less to argue about.
Let’s say you and your spouse each contribute $500 a month to an account of your own. You might prefer to save that money — and that’s your right. At the same time, your spouse might want to spend $500 on a couple of really nice restaurant meals. Since it’s their money, they can do what they want with it, and you won’t have to feel like you don’t get a say since you have money of your own to control.
It can be hard for people to change their views on money. If you’re someone who needs to save continuously to avoid stress, it’s difficult to go from that to throwing caution to the wind and spending money left and right. And similarly, if someone believes in spending money to enjoy life, it’s hard for them to buckle down and become a rigorous saver.
To be clear, these are two extremes. It may be that both you and your spouse prioritize saving but simply have different views on how discretionary income should be spent. Your spouse, for example, might prefer to spend your extra money on experiences. You might prefer to spend your extra money on things like home improvements.
The point, however, is that if you retain separate bank accounts that you control individually, you’ll have the option to use your money as you please without having to confer with another person and risk an argument. In the long run, that could be just the thing that keeps your marriage happy.
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