Angela finally married the love of her life after dating for over 8 years recently. The wedding ceremony was the stuff of dreams and had everything she ever wished for. She moved in with her husband in their new rented apartment in Lekki as they began a journey to become one now and forever. Angela worked 9 to 5 everyday of the week except weekends and earned an eight figure annual salary. Her husband on the other hand is a businessmen and still trying to find his footing in the emerging property development business.
Barely, one month into their marriage and they have found themselves disagreeing for the first time. Her hubby wants them to open a joint account and Angela thinks otherwise. Not that she didn’t love her husband enough to have a joint account with him, she just felt it was a recipe for disaster. But are joint accounts that bad? Or are there so much to joint accounts that should make every couple want to have one? First the Good,
One of the key advantages of having a joint account is being able to share information. With a joint account the couple are constantly able to know each others earnings as they grow into marriage over the years. Each person understand what they have jointly earned in any particular period. In the event that calamity befalls either person, the surviving partner has a full understanding of what is left in the account. It basically helps expose the veil of secrecy. By sharing information together they also help each other by providing an oversight on the funds of the joint account. It’s a form of checks and balances that every family needs.
Another advantage is helping each other to plan togetherr. This is even more compelling in this harsh economic environment where budgeting and planning is gradually becoming important to family life. When a couple has a joint bank account, they see what is coming in everyday and can plan adequately without prejudice from each other. Often times, the wife worries that the husband is not giving her enough money for upkeep of the home or the man believes the wife is not contributing enough to family upkeep. These issues easily gets resolved with the help of a joint account.
Having a joint account together also helps with savings and investments. By contributing to a pool that belongs to the couple they have the financial muscle to take on good investment decisions that can secure your financial goals. Once the money is in the bank the couple just need to agree on investment decisions. It could be towards buying a property, owning a company, buying shares etc.
As mentioned disadvantages do exist and they are quite numerous. For example Owning a Joint Account can create disharmony if either couple or indeed both of them is/are a spend thrift. If they both like to spend, then owning a joint account only just makes this easier for them. The combined earnings deposited in their account can give them the misconception of having too much money and can quickly lead to a misplaced financial security. They see the money in the account as adequate to fund all their desires.
Depositing money in a joint account also causes relationship problems in the part of the world especially if the hubby is a domineering type. The hubby can decide to withhold funds accruing to the couple and forcefully determine how it should be spent. This is quite typical in Nigeria and is a recipe for trouble. Having a joint account can also warrant too much exposure on both sides particularly for a couple who can’t handle financial challenges. For example a hubby with dwindling finances may feel belittled by the sudden reality of his wife earning more. This can also make a typically loving wife feel over important and start to look down on the husband.
These are some of the pros and cons of having a joint bank account. Surely, the decisions to choose whether to have a joint account or not will depend on a number factors including but not limited to maturity, love, understanding, fear of God, compromise and wisdom.
Angela did decide to open a joint account with her hubby after they both had financial counselling. They both agreed to contribute an agreed portion of their earnings into the joint account and decided what the money will be used for from time to time. In the first year they agreed to invest aggressively in treasury bills and stocks. The second year they will start building up funds to purchase a house with the money saved in their joint accounts. Each partner still kept a portion of their earnings to themselves but still shared funding of house hold expenses such as rent, food, bills etc. It’s a plan I think can work and last.