There is a widely subscribed notion that couples who bank together stay together. Family finances can be tricky business especially in the 21stcentury where a lot of marriages end up at the divorce courts.
Without a doubt, couple’s banking habits can seriously have consequences in any relationship – both financially and emotionally.
According to Dikgang Ramotswaka a Financial planner, “Spouses surely need to share bank accounts. Money isn’t the issue that breaks couples up. It is mainly the underhand tactics and issues of power, respect, and control. Keeping accounts separate doesn’t promote partnership but enforces a score-keeping mentality”.
She advised that couples should have one account for most money and then small separate accounts for each partner’s play money. She says this is healthy for the relationships and promotes trust and longevity.
Ramotswaka also pointed out that apart from joint accounts promoting trust and longevity in relationships; she says separate accounts are also good. She argues that separate accounts can also help prepare and protect couples in case there is divorce or death
“The statistics don’t lie but reflect what is happening on the ground,” she explained. She said armed with such statistics, it is highly likely that most couples will experience financial independence at some point, whether due to divorce or death.
“If each spouse has his/her own savings account to manage without input from the other person, there is less chance of complete financial devastation or bewilderment should one partner die (or leave) unexpectedly.”
She however cautioned that there is no one size fits all in this matter. She advised couples to sit down and discuss what best suits them early in the marriage to avoid complications later in the marriage.
Using herself as an example, she said “My husband and I have a joint account, but we also both have our own accounts. It’s important to keep a certain amount of financial independence, no matter how happy your marriage is. This avoids one of the partners getting stuck in the relationship”.