Often, couples in serious relationships will avoid opening joint accounts because they fear the problems during a possible break-up.
Indeed, if you open one in a bank it is a legal obligation of the bank employee who is dealing with you to inform you of the implications of a joint account.
There are advantages however; opening a joint account makes it easier to pay for household bills, rent and other shared expenses.
If you agree to pay in a set amount of your salary each month, it helps to prevent potential conflict over whether or not you and your partner are paying their fair share—especially if you earn different amounts; you should agree a proportion of your income rather than a set amount of cash.
When there’s extra money in your joint pot, you can go out for a meal or go on a date to the cinema to share your leftover cash.
For borrowing a mortgage or other forms of credit, having two incomes makes a better application than a single person applying on their own.
You should always consider the other side of the coin when thinking of taking a joint account though too. One of the main problems for many people is the idea of sharing your money with your partner—exposing yourself to being taken advantage of.
A current account with no overdraft and a set percentage you will each pay in each month is an excellent place to start. This allows you to build up trust in the financial area of your relationship.
Remember that you are both jointly liable for all things related to your joint account. For credit agreements, you are both liable to adhere to the terms and ensure full payment.
You both legally own the entire contents in the account so there is no legal protection if your partner takes all of your money.
However, when weighing up the pros and cons it is important to remember the bigger picture. You can take steps to minimalize your exposure to potential risks: starting out with a no-credit account and putting in a set proportion of your income to minimize arguments.
It’s clear that joint accounts—when used properly are an advantage more than a detriment. Just don’t open one with someone you can’t trust and you’ll be fine!