On the happiest day of his life, Heartland Boy heard this,
"Your money is my money. My money is my money."
Heartland Boy was momentarily stunned. Why she never warned Heartland Boy earlier? Did she just add a new chapter into her protocol of a Singaporean marriage?
The Correct Way To Marriage by Heartland Girl
For they say that a happy wife is a happy life, Heartland Boy dutifully established a joint bank account and dumped all his savings into it. To be fair, Heartland Girl's proposition does have its merits. It just needed some fine tuning and a huge adjustment of expectations. Indeed, it is important for married couple to have joint bank account.
1. A Joint Bank Account Promotes Communication
Having a joint bank account immediately opens the lines of communication on financial topics between the married couple. When a married couple communicates openly, it improves the foundations of their relationship. Each will learn intimately on the earning power and spending habits of the other. This is a critical ingredient to a successful and happy marriage, especially since money is the main cause of divorce in Singapore these days.
In addition, the mere existence of a joint bank account forces the spouse to talk to each other honestly on financial issues. This helps to mitigate the chance of any dark financial secrets hiding in the closet.
2. A Joint Bank Account Gets The Household Expenses In Order
Having a joint bank account immediately allows the couple to examine the overall finances in the family. Only when both adults in the household know exactly what is going in and coming out of the household financial account would there be a realistic chance of formulating a budget and sticking to it. It can be difficult as it forces two individuals to brutally expose their daily spending habits to each other. For instance, Heartland Girl would like to have her food and products to be organic. That was something that took a while for Heartland Boy to get used to. However, it was worth the adjustment. With the joint bank account in place, Heartland Boy would know immediately if money meant for the household has been siphoned off to buy Barbie Dolls!
Therefore, by paying the common household expenses through the joint banking account, it helps to reconcile all the purchases made. Expenses are always sorted out and organized. Here are some financial bloggers who have made a conscientious effort to monitor their household expenses. (My 15 Hour Work Week and Agedashi23cents).
3. A Joint Bank Account Promotes Mutual Financial Responsibility
Since having a joint bank account helps to monitor and track household expenses, it also highlights areas where expenses can be pulled back. The mutual decision to reduce expenses also helps the family to work together towards other financial goals such as insurance, retirement funds etc. It wouldn't be surprising if having a joint bank account makes saving for the long-awaited dream vacation easier.
More importantly, the joint bank account drives homes the point that both adults are financially responsible for the household. The married couple becomes more financially mature and that will go a long way towards achieving financial freedom.
However, there is also a compelling reason why some married couple will choose not to establish a joint bank account.
1. A Joint Bank Account Creates Emotional Barriers
The primary emotional barrier comes in the form of trust. There is no guarantee that the other half would not embark on a wild spending spree, or worse, abscond with the entire savings in the joint bank account! The more likelihood is that the spouse decides to purchase something really expensive first before informing the joint bank account holder. That can be equally frustrating as well.
The next emotional barrier is the loss of independence. Some view that getting a joint bank account means giving up the freedom to spend as they deem fit. What Heartland Boy would recommend is for each party to still preserve his or her own bank account. At the same time, the joint bank account should only be used to pay for common expenses such as household bills, child's education etc. In this way, each party would still retain a great degree of independence and designate his or her own bank accounts as "personal spending allowance".
Conclusion of Joint Bank Account
In their short journey as a married couple, the Heartland Couple has a joint account and still retain their own existing bank accounts. This helps to lay the groundwork for a healthy marriage built on strong financial fundamentals. By the way, the last time that Heartland Boy checked, no suspicious invoices were made to Mattel just yet.
Finally, once you have made the decision to combine finances, it is equally important that you start on the right foot. Do check around for the joint bank account that best meets the household needs.
This article first appeared on Heartland Boy.