What Does Having Joint Vs. Separate Bank Accounts Say About Your Relationship?

By Danielle Braff
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A study by Money Magazine found that 70 percent of married couples fight about money more than chores, snoring, sex and deciding what’s for dinner. Are separate bank accounts the answer for arguing couples? Columnist Danielle Braff takes a look.

Chicago Tribune

In homes across the country, old couples and young couples, rich couples and poor couples are arguing about money.

How they’re spending their money, how they’re earning the money and how well they’re saving the money.

About a third of couples, even the happiest ones, argue about finances at least once a month, and 73 percent say they have money management styles that are different from their partners, according to a 2016 study of couples between the ages of 25 and 70 by Ameriprise Financial Inc.

Another study by Money Magazine found that 70 percent of married couples fight about money more than chores, snoring, sex and deciding what’s for dinner.

So some couples have raised the white flag and are axing their money issues. They’re simply not sharing money anymore.

When they were dating, Cynthia Burgos’ now husband of three years was really bad with his finances, she said.

“He got himself into a few pickles,” said Burgos, 29, a Chicago teacher, who had always been good about saving money. “I basically told him to shape up or we couldn’t be together.”

Her husband, Julio, a medical assistant, slowly got better at managing his money, but the pair decided to keep their finances separate, so they wouldn’t argue about money.

“It worked when we bought our house together, and I figured, why should we fix something that isn’t broken when we get married?” Burgos said.

Since she makes more money, Burgos pays the mortgage, one-third of the assessments, her car note, her credit cards, two-thirds of day care and her phone bill.

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