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How to Organize Bank Accounts and End Money Fights with Your Spouse

By Christi Posner

If you and your spouse fight over money, the way you organize bank accounts may be to blame. 

Should You Manage Money With a Joint Account or Not?

These three important steps can help end financial feuds.

Couple plans budget to manage money and organize bank accounts to end money fights.Do you manage your money through one joint bank account? Do you keep your money in separate bank accounts and manage certain bills on your own?

If you haven’t followed these 3 important steps before choosing how to manage your bank accounts, this may explain your financial feuds.

Understand Options to Organize Bank Accounts

When deciding how to set up your bank accounts with your partner, consider your options. You can either set up a joint bank account or have separate accounts. You can also do a combination of both. See each option in the table below.

Pros and Cons on How to Organize Money with Joint and Separate Bank Accounts

The right way for couples to organize their bank accounts is by doing what works best for them, their money and their relationship. Everyone's situation is unique, so here are a few options with pros, cons, and ways to make each solution work.

Joint Bank Accounts

Pros Cons
  • Encourage open, honest communication around money
  • You and your spouse can see where the money goes
  • Can cause fights over spending habits, leading to blame and finger pointing
  • Your spouse can see and question everything you spend money on


Joint Bank Account Tips

  • Deposit all household income into this account, and start organizing bills to come out of this account.
  • Transfer savings to joint savings accounts.
  • Set spending limits and discuss how you will track your money.

Separate Bank Accounts

Pros Cons
  • Promotes independence and freedom
  • Each person can decide how they will manage their money
  • When trying to run one household from two separate accounts, communication can break down
  • Spending, savings and debt can be hidden from each other


Separate Bank Account Tips

  • Identify who will be managing specific bills, savings, and variable expenses.
  • One person’s expenses should never outweigh their income.
  • Deposit income into the separate accounts, and ensure appropriate expenses come out of the appropriate accounts.
  • Delegate who is responsible for saving, and what variable expenses each person is responsible for buying.

A Balanced Approach

Pros Cons
  • Manage income, savings and bills jointly, but transfer money to be spent separately
  • Both partners feel a sense of freedom with spending, while being on the same page about bills and saving
  • One spouse may dip into savings without the other person's agreement
  • One spouse may neglect to pay the bills and leave the responsibility up to the other


Tips for a Balanced Approach

  • Create one joint bank account to pay all of the bills.
  • Set up joint savings accounts to save for goals together.
  • Allocate separate spending money, either cash or separate bank accounts.

Create a Balanced Budget Before Setting Up Bank Accounts

Whether you choose to divide finances or join them, managing your money works best when you go through a budget planning process first. Before deciding how to set up your bank accounts, follow these steps:

  1. Create a Household Budget - Write down the take home income for both partners in a month and subtract expenses for the entire household for the month.
  2. Track Your Spending - Don’t know how much each person spends? Get accurate figures and edit your budget accordingly.
  3. Review Your Options to Create a Balanced Budget - If your total expenses cost more than the total income you bring in every month, consider your options to balance the budget.
  4. Now you're ready to re-organize your bank accounts!

Re-Organize Your Bank Accounts to Manage Money Effectively

Once you have a realistic household spending plan, decide how you would like to use bank accounts to make budgeting easier for you and your spouse. Based on the pros and cons listed above, have a conversation and decide which way will work best for both of you.

Use Organized Bank Accounts to End Money Fights - Money Management Tips for Couples

Now that you have some tips on money management and how to organize your bank accounts, you are better equipped for ending money fights with your spouse. Finances are the leading cause of divorce so finding a way to organize your bank accounts better can help you avoid money fights with your spouse or partner.

According to a recent study, partners often blame each other for problems with personal finances. 36% of women accuse their partners of overspending, while only 25% think that their money issues are their own fault. On the other hand, 37% of men accuse their partner for money troubles, and only 23% admit fault.

By first joining forces to create a balanced household budget, and then deciding how to manage bank accounts, you may be able to avoid becoming another statistic.

Let's hear it from you - do you prefer having joint accounts, separate accounts, or a little of both? Leave a comment here or ask us a question about organized bank accounts on Facebook. If you and your partner would like help creating a budget or would like to get help with debt, find a reputable, non-profit credit counselling organization in your area.




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I was glad to read this post as it contains some great knowledge. I hope people like this post and bookmark this blog because it contains some great information.

My husband and I are newly married and so we are still trying to figure out our finances. At first, we tried separate accounts because he is very bad with managing money and always ends up with nothing in his checking account. However, we just decided to get a joint bank account so that I could manage all of the money and so he wouldn't be spending all of his money. Yet, we still need help with trying to keep a balanced budget. I am very good at keeping track of our spending, but we can't seem to stick to a budget. If we have a set budget, what strategies can we use to not go over it?