The Short Answer
Albert is a super practical guy. Albert and I share a joint account but we also keep separate bank accounts.
Joint Account: Albert funds our joint account which we use for our household expenses. He uses proceeds from his business to fund our household expenses. It’s an “or” account so either one of us can withdraw from it at any time.
Sole Accounts: My personal account is the money I had while I was single, plus any proceeds I get from my own business. Albert has his own personal account too.
Some give well-meaning advice like “You HAVE to put ALL your money in just ONE account, otherwise, you are NOT ONE!”
I honestly believe that being one in marriage (financially or otherwise) is always a heart issue rather than a blanket list of do’s or dont’s (that aren’t even in the Bible anyway.)
It Works For Us
Different Banks, Different Perks
It helps that we have accounts with different banks, where transactions can vary to where it is easiest (ex: paying suppliers who prefer a major bank, having an account at a new online savings bank because of the high interest, or getting the lowest bank fees for wire transfers, etc.), so we get to spread out our funds between banks and not be beholden to just one.
The Disadvantage of only having a Joint Account
Possible morbid scenario: if one of us dies suddenly, the living spouse can’t withdraw from the joint account.
Note: having pre-signed withdrawal slips on a joint account is perjury.
The emotional toll would be further added by the financial stress of not having any funds for our daily expenses. Life insurance is great, but is another thing you have to process on top of being devastated.
You Do You.
I’d honestly recommend having a joint account and keep their own account.
But there is not set formula to what financial arrangement you should have. Again, it’s a heart issue.
Sometimes I surprise Albert with a small gift bought from my personal account. But more than surprises, it’s what works for our marriage and makes our day-to-day living easier.
If circumstances change, we’d be willing to re-evaluate and change our current arrangement accordingly.
No “Calculator” Mentality
Although Albert insists to pay for our household expenses, there are times that I take money from my personal account to pay for bills, sudden expenses, etc. I don’t ask for reimbursement, but I just tell give him a headsup on the added expenses so that he knows what our household’s cash flow is like. It’s really a heart issue to know that you are one, in good times or bad.
Hypothetical: Would I Do It?
If Albert would suddenly ask me to withdraw all my money and transfer it to his sole account, would I?
Honestly I’d probably ask why why why (hahaha), but I would. First, because he’s the leader of our home, and secondly, I trust his judgment. I wouldn’t have married him if I thought he was a pennywise, dollar-foolish king of guy.
If you’re single
Be choosy. Know yourself and your potential life partner well enough before making a lifelong commitment with someone. If you suck at personal finance, be humble, get help and improve,rather than dragging someone down the financial pit you’re in.
Equally important — ask yourself and your partner: Do they think that their money is theirs or God’s? Remember – heart, heart, heart! If they earn a lot of money but act really stuck up and selfish, better to get off that bus and wait for another one.
Money Isn’t Everything
Yes, money in marriage is not everything, but it is a big, weighty something that can spell the difference between heaven or hell on earth with your spouse. If you haven’t had this discussion with your spouse, then maybe it’s time you did!