More Than Finances

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Couples and joint bank accounts – how to make it work best?

Apart from love, family and an eternity of happiness, there are many other ‘practical’ advantages of being in a couple. A lot of these advantages are to do with affordability. When you decide to take the step of merging two households to become one, you are going to be drastically reducing your monthly payments, but you need to make sure you do this in the right way, and for the right reasons.

Before you get carried away with all that extra cash you’re going to have for holidays, cars and whatever else your heart desires… it’s important you fully understand the situation and make an effort for it to work.

Below we have outlined a few tips, which will hopefully make the situation work best…

Are you comfortable speaking about money together?

Before you sign up to sharing your finances in any way, you need to establish whether you can talk about money together. Some people, for whatever reasons, find discussions around money very uncomfortable. If this is the case, then you may want to wait a while, as it could put a serious strain on your relationship.

You don’t know what financial issues your future holds – good or bad, so it’s important you work out whether your relationship is mature enough for discussions about money.

How many bank accounts do you need?

You need to sit down with your partner and assess your needs. Do you need one bank account for bills, one for saving and one current account? Do you do it all through one account? Do you want to keep a secret savings account away from your partner? You need to discuss this as you may have completely different ideas about what you think is best.

How separate are you going to keep it?

Having a shared bank account doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to get rid of your current account. It could be that you compromise, so that you keep your own bank account and are paid in to this. You could then have a joint account for mortgage and bills or perhaps just a joint savings account that could be easily sorted, if the worst happened and you were to split.

Consolidate your credit cards

Through your discussions, you would have talked about your current debts and how you feel about consolidating these. You may find that your best option, if you have credit card debt, is to transfer both balances on to one account. If you were to do this, then it is essential that you compare credit cards online. Sites such as uSwitch provide an easy to use online tool, to make sure you’re getting a deal that works with your current situation.

Post by Sarah

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