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Should You Have a Joint Account in a Relationship

Relationships

Relationships are a step by step kind of process. They are like a game where you have to get from one level to the next through a serious of tests and challenges to get to the ultimate destination, marriage.

In the beginning of a relationship (the getting-to-know-each-other stage), some of the qualities you look for in a potential long term partner does not involve knowing the exact amount of money they have in the bank.

Although you want to see how he handles money, it is only for the mere purpose of assessing his stability and security in a relationship.

There is no specific time to determine whether a couple are in a serious relationship. Some consider themselves to be serious within months of dating, while others decide after 2-4 years of being in a committed relationship.

Eventually, there has to be progress in a relationship and this entails trusting each other completely with fidelity and money. This marks a relationship that has long term goals and leads to marriage.

Pin codes and bank accounts
When you and your partner share each other’s pin codes and help each other in financial situations, this is a huge step for a relationship.

However, this does not mean you should open a joint account immediately. Even if you move in together, wait before deciding on taking that step. Money is a big issue in relationships and when handled badly, it can put a strain on the most secure relationship or end it entirely.
1. It can lead to one partner (one who earns more) exerting control over the other.
2. It can lead to constant fights on handling the money.
3. Adds pressure to a relationship.

There are circumstances can lead to an end of a relationship and having a discussion about dissolving a joint bank account would be an awkward situation to find yourself in.

Joint by vows
A joint account is more suitable for married couples who are legally bound to each other. It is more practical for a married couple to have joint accounts rather than an unmarried one. Most people and financial planners would advise you to wait before making that huge decision.

If however, you feel that you and your partner are ready to open a joint account before marriage, then go for it. You are the two people who have the power to set the rules of your relationship. The power and responsibility to decide how much to share of your individual selves to make a joint effort lies with you.

Relationships and money intertwine somehow. If it works out the way you want great, and if it does not, do not beat yourself up over it. Chalk it up as a lesson learned and move on.

Thembakazi Mbobela

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