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5 Tips for Couples Sharing Bank Accounts from the Savvy Sister Girl

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Posted February 26, 2013 by The Candace B in Biz & Money

When my husband and I were going through marriage counseling, we decided to have joint checking and savings accounts. Now, I know this is not conventional, most people would propose that married couples have separate accounts or keep and account on the side. We trust each other with our finances. So it is only natural that we would join our bank accounts.

What we quickly found was that managing this was difficult when you had two people with different buying habits and different priorities. For instance, I wanted shoes and things for the house which were more predictable and moderately priced and he wanted electronics and food to eat on the go which were usually unplanned stops and in some case could be very pricey  This ended up meaning that I kept better records then he did since he in many cases could not remember where he placed the receipts or eve if he had stopped by Chipotle on the way home or not. Oddly enough, his bigger purchases were easy to track and made less waves but those small purchases her and there of $10 or less dollars we so easy to forget and ended up costing the most.  After a few months we needed to re-group and figure out how to make things work without racking up tons of NSF Fees.

5 Tips for Couples Sharing Bank Accounts from the Savvy Sister Girl

Here are the 5 tips to help couples with sharing bank accounts:

  1. Create Rules Before You Open Your Account – Sounds like a no-brainer but we did not do this and it would have helped us tremendously. Basically, I recommend at having a plan for how you both will use the account together. (Note: if you already are sharing account it is not too late to set up some simple rule for the account… it pays off in the end)
  2. Record Everything – end if you buy 1 postage stamp with the debit card, you must right it down. those few cents could end up costing you $35 a pop.
  3. Reconcile Your Purchases Weekly – Each week you two should sit down at the kitchen table and log on to your online banking account and reconcile all purchases together  This will help you better understand where your money is going and how your mate spends money.
  4. Set Up Overdraft Protection – Almost every bank these days has some form of overdraft protection program. You can either link a savings or credit card account to your checking account to make sure if you make a mistake that your bank will automatically transfer money from and existing account to cover your overage. The fees for this are usually much lower than NSF Fees and are only charged once per day instead of for each item that overdraws the account.
  5. Be Understanding – You and your mate are not the same people so you both see money in different ways. Make sure that you are patient with each other and communicate your purchases. And try your best not to belittle each other when the inevitable mistake in record keeping occurs. And it will happen…hopefully when it does your love is greater than your overdraft fees.

These tips will help you as you merge your finances, and remember even if you run into a hiccup along the way, you love each other and can work it out. Just be open minded and understanding.

We would love to hear from you, Have you join bank accounts? What do you propose as tips for other couples? What has worked for you? Please share below!

 


About the Author

The Candace B

Candace is Publisher of Sister Girl News and the co-Host of the Sister Girl News Radio Show. She is an active member of the Atlanta business community; serving on several boards and participating in many local, regional and national organizations. As the Publisher of Sister Girl News she strives to help readers explore new and exciting topics on women and the issues that effect their lives. Please reach out to Candace by email at Candace@SisterGirlNews.com.

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