money, our money
the idyllic early days of a relationship it seems to make a lot of sense
to combine financial forces. Unfortunately, a lot of important questions
are ignored, such as:
- Is a joint
bank account of equal opportunity to both partners?
- Does it
unfairly favour either one?
- What problems
would evolve if, for example, the female partner might seek financial
- What happens
if the marriage or relationship breaks up?
joint bank account is an indicator of the changes in traditional nuptial
patterns. It has taken the much-vaunted ideal of connubial bliss into
a new era. Now, many marriages and relationships have become business
collaborations where each partner contributes as an individual to the
overall survival of the enterprise.
This sort of partnership must be made to work with as much thought and
planning as in the case of a business tie-up. All too frequently, women
enter into a marriage thinking that the future holds a life of constant
happiness and fulfillment. Managing the household, taking care of young
children and the need to earn a living, can soon bring married couples
down to earth with a thump.
Sometimes, this thump takes the form of a break-up. The fact that marriages,
like business partnerships and companies, can and do fail often comes
as a shock to many people.
It is important for couples to recognise that all relationship may not
necessarily be permanent. And steps ought to be taken to protect their
The joint bank account is an indicator of this enterprise, and can operate
in two ways to accommodate the needs of the couple.
- The first
type of joint account is the 'both must-sign account'. Here, any party
can deposit funds into the account. But both parties must sign any cash
- The second
is the either-to-operate account. In this account, either one can deposit
funds to the account and either one can withdraw funds (i.e. signature
of both parties is not required).
kind of joint account is best for you?
Or should you enter a joint account at all?
One of the best options is for each partner to opens his and her own personal
account as well as operate a joint account. The joint account can be used
for household expenses while the personal account can be for their own
consumption. Each partner is then able to make equal contributions for
household expenses while keeping the surplus in their own personal account.
A relationship that is based on a rational, commonsense financial footing
may not stand a greater chance of success, but if it does collapse then
the long term consequences are not likely to be as devastating.
In my view, every woman entering into a permanent relationship should
keep this vital fact in mind. Without damaging their opinions of each
other, both partners should ensure that they well properly prepared for
a rainy day, and that their individual financial position is more secure,
in case of a break-up.