Lately I’ve been thinking about money and relationships and how they interact.
I’m in a long term, serious relationship and thus far we have kept our finances seperate. We’re at the stage where marriage is on the cards, so we are starting to talk about how our finances should be organised, were we to join them.
My questions are: What are your thoughts on joint accounts, over and above the convenience of day-to-day household spending? Should each person keep money aside for themselves, in an account that the other does not have access to?
I’ve seen examples of this in an old colleague whose mother on passing away had left her a commercial property that provided her another income stream through rent. She was happily married but the rent from that commercial property went directly into a personal account that her husband had no oversight over. She used it now and again to fund clothes purchases or whatnot, but also said that she’d given loans to her adult children from time to time when her husband couldn’t be convinced to give loans from their joint account (things like weddings, starting a business etc. that required a substaintial amount of money)
I’ve also seen friends and acquaintences come out of marriages in financial turmoil with nothing to fund their new start.
Obviously I love my partner and am deeply committed to our relationship, but I’m also a logical person. Plans don’t always work out, life can take turns that you don’t expect, and not all marriages last the distance. Is it naive to not have a financial plan-B in the event that your joint account becomes compromised? And even if your marriage lasts,how important is it important to maintain some sense of financial independence?