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Setting up a joint account with your partner may be a scary thing. After all, money can be a sensitive issue, especially if you are both drawing vastly different incomes. This also makes your relationship more official (well, as official as it can get before you're both legally married), and it may set you up for heartbreak and potential issues (scams, and so on), if the relationship goes south.
That said, there are conveniences to having a combined account, especially if you've got common bills to pay. And, instead of trying to keep up with who owes what, and who should pay for what, there may be more advantages to opening a joint account, than not.
Here, our tips to managing it.
1. Communicate with your partner before setting it up
Having a joint account is a huge step, and you both need to be on the same page when it comes to your expenditure. Questions like withdrawing cash (do you need one signature, or both), what should the money be used for (common ones include the wedding, rent/mortage, groceries, utility bills, car payments...), how much should each partner contribute toward the account (we recommend a fixed percentage of your pay instead of a set sum, especially if you're both earning different amounts), and so on.
2. Retain your own individual accounts
While caring is sharing, it may not be safe to do so here. It's still better to portion a part of your salary into your own account, in case of rainy days and other situations.
3. Put a percentage of, instead of a fixed sum
As mentioned earlier, if you're both earning different salaries, it may be fairer to contribute a percentage of your salary instead of a fixed sum into the joint account.
4. Use it for common bills only
Whether you both share the same values when it comes to money or not, reduce conflicts and confusion by using the account for bills you both are responsible for. This includes expenses for your wedding, your flat, renovations for the flat, groceries, and so on.
5. Let your partner know if you're taking money out of the account and vice versa
If there are last-minute expenses you have to incur, or if there are some matters to take care of while one of you's unavailable, just make sure you let your partner know, and vice versa. It's only courtesy anyway, and it's also to prevent any miscommunication or misunderstandings from happening.
Disagree with our points? See our other article on why opening a joint account may not be such a good idea after all.