When young couples get married, they sometimes decide to share a checking account. If you want to share a checking account with your new spouse, it is important to sit down and have a serious discussion before doing so. The following guide walks you through a few things that you and your spouse need to discuss before getting a joint checking account.
Establish Your Monthly Expenses
The first thing you need to do is to discuss the amount of monthly expenses you have as a couple. You need to know how much money will be going out of the checking account each month so that you and your spouse will know how much money should be left each month to determine how much you can put into your savings and how much you can use for entertainment throughout the month.
When you have your own bank account, you can spend money however you see fit. When you share a joint checking account with your spouse, guidelines need to be set up as to how much money can be spent without consulting the other person. You do not want to go to your checking account to see that thousands of dollars are missing because your husband or wife decided they wanted to make a large purchase.
Establish a Financial Plan
Take the time to review your finances and work with your spouse to establish a financial plan for your future. If you want to buy a home, invest in a business, or simply prepare for your retirement, determine how much money you want to set aside each month to ensure that you are able to get the ball rolling on your financial goals as soon as possible.
Monitor the Account Closely
When multiple people are using one checking account, it can be easier for the account information to be stolen. Monitoring the account will allow you to track if any odd purchases are made and then consult with your spouse to find out if he or she made the purchase. If you determine that they did not make the purchase, you may want to report the purchase right away so the activity can be stopped immediately.
Sharing a checking account requires both you and your spouse to be very responsible with your money. If you feel that there is any chance that either you or your spouse are not responsible enough to have direct access to the checking account, consider setting up a set amount of money for each of you to use each week and have the most responsible person pay the bills each month. This ensures that you both have money to do the things that you want to do and that your bills are paid on time.
If you're looking to see what type of personal checking account might be best for you and your spouse, consider consulting with local banks, like Cheviot Savings Bank, to discuss your options.