Love is in the air this time of year—and so are questions like “what are we?” and “are we ready for the next step?” When you’re getting *seriously* serious about someone, there are some questions that aren’t exactly easy to ask—but need the answers to, regardless. Talking finances with your partner is likely not on your list of pillow talk convos, but if you see a future with them in it…it’s important to know where you both stand.
One question we often get at Girlboss is how to know when you’re ready to take your finances to the next level, and how are you do you maintain a healthy financial relationship? While transparency is crucial, making the decision that are best for each of you is also super important. Let’s talk about what it means to get a joint bank account, and whether it’s the right move for you and your partner.
Here are the three questions to ask yourself (and each other!) when considering a joint bank account.
Do we know what a joint bank account does?
There are plenty of benefits and challenges to have a joint bank account. If you plan on buying a house, it’s helpful to have a good chunk of your money in one place. If you also want to have a better understanding of how you’re making and spending money as a couple, a joint account is the way to do it. You might also get a higher interest rate or other rewards that you wouldn’t get with just a single person’s income.
Do you trust each other with your finances?
According to SoFi, one in ten people are hiding a bank account from their partner. It’s not uncommon to want to keep your finances separate, but if you are considering having a joint account, it’s better to lay everything out in the open and have a sense of the full picture. You really need to ask yourself: Do I trust them with my money and a deeper understanding of my finances? And do they trust you? A great exercise is to create a full breakdown sheet for your partner of all your assets, credit score, and current accounts—and they should do the same.
Do you understand the worst-case-scenarios?
You have to be realistic about what could happen, if things do go sour. For example, with most accounts you have permission to withdraw money without the other person’s signature—which means they could always withdraw all of the money. It requires a high level of trust to have a joint bank account, but a discussion with your partner and your bank can insure that you feel as comfortable as possible, should you decide that it’s the best idea for you.