Real Talk: Joint Accounts

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Talking about what happens when a relationship ends really puts a damper on the honeymoon phase, but it's an important conversation to have when it comes to your finances. We get it, it can be difficult to talk to your partner about your current financial state. However, to foster healthy communication within your relationship this is a necessary evil.

Ignoring conversations about your financial situation can seriously impact your mental well-being if the relationship goes south. Opening up the conversation about your finances from the beginning will create peace of mind for both you and your partner.

Joint accounts – what are they? Should I have one? Is there anything I should know before opening a joint account? We are glad you asked! At our Investing in You Women’s Conference, we spoke with Fraize Law’s, Lara Fraize-Burry about managing finances with your partner.

We asked the questions, so you don’t have to. Let’s get into it.

What is a joint account?

A joint account is a checking or savings account that is shared with two or more people.

Joint account holders have equal access to withdraw and deposit funds. They have responsibility for the funds in that account, making any debt or credit accumulated within that account a joint responsibility.

Why should you consider a joint account?

A joint account is a practical way to handle shared bills, expenses, and even save toward a common goal together.

The best practice is to have a separate personal account along with your joint account. Deposit greater sums of funds such as your salary, or any big wins into your own personal account. Transfer what you need into a joint account to cover joint expenses easily.

Lara recommends you ask yourself “What would happen if we were to separate?” when considering what funds are being regularly deposited into your joint account. It’s all about being prepared for any potential relationship changes.

How should I protect my financial well-being?

Remember communication and smart money moves is the key to keeping your relationship and finances on lock. “Keep the bulk of your funds in your personal account and then distribute as needed,” says Lara.

“You have the responsibility to yourself to be aware of the finances in your household.” Have a conversation about how you are going to spend the money in your joint account and keep an eye out for unusual activities. Discussing active financial accounts and spending habits within your relationship is also a good idea.

Visit your local credit union to talk to a financial expert about managing finances with your partner.