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  4. Is a Joint Checking Account Right for You?
chalk hands reaching for moneyYou’re here for advice because your significant other just popped the big question and you don’t know how to answer, right? No problem – I’ve done all the research for you. By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll know whether signing up for a joint checking account is right for you. My apologies if you had a different question in mind.

Pros of a Joint Checking Account

  • All your eggs are in one basket (in a good way). By eggs, I mean money, and by basket, I mean account. In other words, you don’t have to go back and forth with your significant other about who is taking money out of what account to pay the mortgage and other bills. It’s also convenient when you need to make a large purchase. For example, if you’re having car problems and the cost of repair is significantly higher than expected, you have access to the funds needed to pay the bill.
  • You can both access the funds in case of an emergency. Since both of your paychecks are deposited into the same account, if there’s an unfortunate event like hospitalization, both members have the ability to write checks, withdraw and deposit at any time.
  • You could avoid overdraft fees. If one of you has a habit of overdrafting your account, the larger combined balance should help you avoid paying such fees.
  • You’ll be more accountable for your spending habits. If you’re saving up for a big purchase, a joint account can create a sense of responsibility since every transaction can be viewed by either person. That’s right – it may help you quit your habit of eating fast food once your significant other realizes how much you spent at McDonald’s last week.

Cons of a Joint Checking Account

  • Someone else can touch your hard-earned money. Since both parties have equal access, there’s no limit on how much one person can spend at one time. If your significant other makes a large purchase without informing you, you may get a rude awakening when you stop at the gas station to fill up on your way home from work and your card is declined.
  • It only takes one financially irresponsible person to wreak havoc on both of your credit scores. Poor management of the account could lead to a delinquent checking account. This isn’t something you want to be a part of.
  • Transparency was mentioned as a pro, but it can also be a con. Do you want your significant other to know that you cut out of work early to play a quick round of golf instead of going directly home to take care of the kids? I didn’t think so.

There are pros and cons to opening a joint checking account with your significant other. Which side outweighs the other for you?

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