The benefits of having a joint bank account
Joining money with your partner has lots of benefits, especially if you’re working towards mutual goals. A combined bank account can make managing your money and bills far easier, plus it could help you save cash along the way. Whether you’re combining all your money or just a bit, let’s check how opening a joint bank account can help you get more out of life in Queensland.
Save on transaction fees
Having one bank account can make paying for household bills including mortgage/rent, groceries and utilities much easier. Combining your money into one account means you can pay your bills direct to the provider. This stops you needing to transfer funds to one another or be charged for cash withdrawals to pay each other back.
Save on account fees
Monthly account keeping, withdrawal and even statement fees can be common costs with transaction accounts. If you each have your own account you could both be paying these needless fees. When you have a joint bank account you can avoid paying these double charges plus, if you choose the right bank you could avoid these costs altogether!
Save on service fees
Did you know paying bills via direct debit can incur a fee? Process handling fees are common place when you’re paying household bills. If you’re both making regular payments to the same provider you could be slugged service fees on both accounts. This can be halved by combining your money and making just the one payment from a joint account.
Reach your goals sooner
Whether you’re saving for a common goal or you’re managing your weekly expenses, a joint account is a great tool to stay motivated and accountable. When you’re combining money with a spouse you’re more likely stay on budget and reach your financial goals sooner.
What to consider before you open a joint bank account
When you’re considering joining money with a spouse there’s a few things you should consider. For example, do you both have the same goals? What are your money expectations and spending habits? While you may be compatible in all other parts of your relationship, it’s worth asking the tough questions so you know you have financial chemistry too.
Are you a spender or a saver?
This innocuous question not only helps you delve into your spending habits, but you can find out about your partner’s too. Most of us will identify ourselves as either a spender or saver. This simple question can help identify how we see our own spending habits and how our partners spend too. If there’s a drastic difference in the way you and your partner manage money that doesn’t need to spell trouble, it all comes down to communication, trust and respect.
What are your goals?
Do you dream of owning a house, but your partner dreams of travelling the world? Knowing each other’s goals in life can help you identify whether you’ll have the same level of dedication when it comes to saving and whether you’re working together for a mutual goal.
What are your finances like today?
Being upfront and honest about the amount of savings or debt you’ve accrued is important in understanding whether it’s the right time to open a joint bank account. If one person’s steadily saving and the other can’t contribute the same due to debt repayments – things could get a little unbalanced.
What are your assets?
If someone in the partnership has assets – like a car or investment property, it’s a good idea to chat about the expectations around this asset. If both partners agree to split the cost of the repayments, ensure you’re both on the same page as to whether you’ll be co-owners of the item.
What to look for in a joint bank account
If you’ve made the decision to join finances it’s a great idea to find the right bank account that suits your life together. Getting the right transaction and savings account can make a difference to your bank balance. Generally, look for an everyday transaction account that offers:
- no account keeping fees
- free withdrawals
- free transactions
- online money management.
Some banks give you extra member benefits like dining rewards or discounts on services, so it pays to shop around.
When you’re getting a joint savings account try to find one that offers interest on the money you’re depositing so your bank balance grows faster.
How to manage combining money with a spouse
When you’re joining money with your spouse it doesn’t need to be everything or nothing. While some couples choose to combine everything, others may opt for a joint ‘house’ account but different spending accounts. It’s up to you to decide how to manage your money together and remember – not every couple’s the same. Here’s some hints on how to make combined money work;
- use both names on the accounts
- decide whether to combine all, or part of your money
- understand who will be responsible for paying certain bills out of the joint account
- chat openly and honestly about your finances
- agree on the same goals.