What can a joint bank account get you? A happier marriage according to a University of Missouri survey published in the latest Money Magazine.
39% of women and 25% of men report financial dissatisfaction when using separate bank accounts verses only 13% and 7% who use joint accounts.
The research shows that using joint bank accounts can lower dissatisfaction by more than two thirds. Based on my experience doing marriage counseling, as well as financial counseling, I agree with these results. Even using a combination of joint and separate accounts significantly reduces dissatisfaction.
This Money Magazine article, Marrying Finances -- For the Second Time, focuses on strategies to use when getting married again to keep money from coming between you and your spouse. The following recommendations work just as well for first time marriages too:
- Lay Bare Your Liabilities. "To quell any tensions before they arise, each should prepare a list of what's owned and owed...Will you, for example, help tackle your spouse's debts?"
- Assess Your Assets. "One of the toughest issues, couples in second marriages face is how, practically, to marry assets and income. All joint, all separate, or a mix? Most financial pros advise having at least a joint checking account. 'It helps you act as a couple with money,' says financial educator Ruth Hayden, author of For Richer, Not Poorer."
- Prepare for the Worst. Revisit beneficiary designations, wills, and consider a prenuptial agreement. The article gives suggestions on when a prenup makes sense.
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