Joint account…or not?

“No way!” exclaims Mr Olawale (not his real name), obviously aghast at such a ridiculous suggestion. He storms off without bothering say more.

Mrs Benedict however is calm as she explains that the issue caused a huge rift between her husband and herself when the account ran low. She had been withdrawing money to buy food in the house and hadn’t kept a record of her expenses. Whereas he thought she had been spending it on her family. She is quite convinced that it is a bad idea.

Joke, a student and unmarried young lady says she thinks it isn’t a bad idea if the spouses understand each other and have specific goals for the account. She believes love is sharing and that couple ought not to get married if they cannot share an account.

While some couples have a joint account, most do not and some have both separate accounts and a joint account. What I would call ‘playing it safe’.
The joint account may contain all funds received by the couple separately and collectively. This arrangement does not allow for separate accounts by the partners and to have one would mean cheating. Well in that case, joint account holders cheat!
One or both partners could have access to the account but I fail to see why it is called a joint account when just one person has access to it.
For some couples, a joint account could serve as one where funds are pooled and through which all expenses are paid. For others it is a pool of funds, only to be used during an emergency. For instance if the earning partner gets his right arm broken (that’s assuming he is right-handed). It could also serve as a re-affirmation of the ‘what is mine is yours’ that comes with committed relationships.
In the traditional sense, it means that the husband contributes all or most of the funds there so the wife can withdraw and use to run the home. In most cases she runs more than the home with the money.

Depending on what the account is used for, it could cause a major strain on the relationship. A partner could feel cheated when the other draws from the account to buy things that he might consider unnecessary. For instance, while a woman assumes that the family is saving towards a bus, her husband could draw from the account to buy a few toys. Now you can’t blame the man. He works hard. He should be able to buy whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Problems could also arise when a partner draws on the account without infroming the other. Especially if he or she is unable to return the money before the other finds out.
Ladies, how would you like having to ask your man before you use ‘your money’ to buy Brazilian hair? How about if you are the aso ebi type and you earn enough to afford it but you have to ask permission from your husband, knowing he will give you a lecture on budgets and spending.

When considering having a joint account, ensure that you know your spouse to some extent. This will take about three years living together (feel free to correct me). Be open and honest about your financial status. No hidden streams of income. I’m sure you know what I mean. Draw up a budget and a detailed expense sheet. Then set financial goals together especially the specific use you want to make of the account. Also, decide how you would like to share expenses. The man could handle rent and feeding while the woman does utilities and other minor expenses. Yes, when it comes to finances, the woman accepts that the man is superior. He should spend more.

In truth, proper personal financial management would require that you have at least two personal accounts; your salary account and a retirement account. If this holds true, the option of having both personal and joint accounts would work better.
I have found that in life and relationships in particular, there are no hard and fast rules. Individuals are different and would react to certain things differently. The best thing to do would be to study your relationship and decide which option will best suit it. That is me being totally unbiased.


4 thoughts on “Joint account…or not?”

  1. I believe in one ness and mutual understanding. That is why its necessary to be friends with ur spouse not just dating but very close pals. In other for u guys to be used to each other and be open to each other in all areas of life. That is why u guys are one. There is nothing bad with joint account as long as both parties are in full control of it. That will help in checks and balances

  2. joint account is a very good idea for marriage couples. but the main issue is the proper application of such funds to family related matters for the development of the home and provision of chilld care amenities. it also helps the man to plan properly with available funds especially if the wife is really conservative in her own spending manners and habits.

  3. LOL!!!! Joint account has its uses no doubt, but for the sake of sanity it should be well planned and separate from any other account especially salary accounts. If I love you, I need to trust you so I don’t need to see every cent you earn or spend as long as you take care of what needs to be taken care of. JustSaying

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