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To feel a little wary of joint bank account?

(70 Posts)
Stigaloid Fri 07-Aug-09 10:34:14

My DH is excellent with money and I trust him completely however I like having my own bank account because i like earning my own money and spending it on what i want to without someone else being able to look at my spending an comment.

a few years ago DH opened a 'joint' account, which he views as joint but i view as his. I do have access to it but never use it as it is his income. On rare occassions it gets used by me would be when DH tells me to pay a cheque for something for the house or DC from that account. In general DH pays for mortgage and bills and i pay for all food, clothing and sundries for family.

DH would like me to close down my personal bank account and put all my money in joint account. Part of me doesn't mind but a big part of me feels like i will be losing my last semblance of independance doing this. When we bought a car together DH put the insurance in his name so he could build up a no claims bonus but at the expense of me losing my 8 years no claim bonus. I have a better credit history than DH as i have been with my current bank for 15 years, and to close it would mean losing my account history.

AIBU? I probably am but i just don't want him commenting on how much money i spend on shoes or shopping or what have you. It feels a bit controlling to me.

Advice ladies and gentlemen please.

lazylion Fri 07-Aug-09 10:48:55

YANBU I have your former arrangement with my DH - 'joint' account is actually his & I have my own. I couldn't stand to have a real joint account. I can't see any reason why you would need to do this unless he is worried you are going to run off.

wrinklytum Fri 07-Aug-09 10:51:32

I have a joint account with dp for mortgage and bills but also a sole account for myself that is used to buy food,clothes for dcs and for extras likedays out and stuff.Dp used to be main breadwinner but I am now and I am the much better saver.

Stigaloid Fri 07-Aug-09 10:55:11

I think he just feels very open and vulnerable being the only one with a 'joint' account. But i never use it and would never take advantage of being able to acces his account (which i can't as have no idea how to use his internet banking and don't use my card for it unless he instructs me to pay for something for him). Am not going to run off but i like being able to have my own money and when it comes to buying presents etc i like to know this is a surprise, he doesn't know how much things cost and i have a little independance.

Stigaloid Fri 07-Aug-09 10:55:51

wrinklytum - how does that work for you? Do you both pay in salary to one account and then withdraw a set amount for personal account?

StealthPolarBear Fri 07-Aug-09 10:57:33

well we have a joint account (it's the only account we really have) and it works for us, but if you don't want to then it doesn't work for you!

flowerybeanbag Fri 07-Aug-09 11:01:29

So does your DH pay for everything joint and your earnings literally just go on your own stuff? Or do you use your earnings for joint stuff as well?

If some of your earnings go on joint/household/DC stuff, then why not do a monthly transfer of a set amount of your salary that you would usually spend on joint stuff to the joint account, and then use the joint account for any joint/household/DC spending and literally use your own account for your own personal spending. That's what DH and I do, or rather used to do when I had regular set income.

Tommy Fri 07-Aug-09 11:03:20

we have that, stigaloid. All the earnings go into the joint account from which we pay all household bills and we each have the same amount taken from that into our personal accounts.
We spend it how we like smile

Prosecco Fri 07-Aug-09 11:06:38

We have a joint account where we both transfer money from our single accounts (dh transfers more as he earns more). This is used for all household expenses- mortgage, bills, food etc.

Our salaries are paid into our single accounts and we use these for going out, clothes,presents etc. We also use them to pay for some "family expenses", kids clothes, days out etc, especially dh as he earns more.

This works for us for the reasons you mentioned, and since I mainly operate the joint account, I would be able to see at aglance where dh had bought my birthday present from, iyswim. Since he is usually very original, I would hate to find out like this. (Although last year I accidentally found out by going on Amazon and it showed recent purchases blush)

Why not ask him to open a single account for himself rather than you closing yours?

aendr Fri 07-Aug-09 11:10:51

You are not being unreasonable. Perhaps he should have his own account.

My husband and I each have a personal account into which our salaries are paid and we have a joint account. We both transfer money into the joint account from our salaries each month. If one of us were to become a stay at home parent, the other would transfer some money monthly to the SAHP's personal account for unquestioned personal use.

We discussed it when we moved in together and agreed that we both should have some financial independence as well as the joint account for the house and family. I've seen at least 3 members of my extended family struggle due to their partners being controlling, and it was made harder as they were also controlled on the money front (particularly two who had no independent income.) I felt neither of us should be in the situation where that could be a problem. It wasn't that I didn't trust him, but that I felt that both of us should have that fall back and that it should be normal for our own children to see (just in case, for when they're adults someone tries to bully them into a single account using the "it's normal" argument.)

Buying presents and surprises is easier when it's from ones own account. Also we thought that if there was ever a problem (death or ill health of one of us, bank going under, account being emptied due to fraud, any other thing that might freeze an account) that having independent back ups would be good (our personal accounts are with different banks to our joint).

pagwatch Fri 07-Aug-09 11:15:48

actually we have a joint account, I have a seperate account for some things for the Dcs and me and then our savings account and that one is in my name .

But the truth is we regard all money as joint money even though I am a SAHM and have no real income ( except carers allowance) but all our money was joint money back when he was 20 and we lived in a house I had bought with a friend.

The thing is you either both see your finances totally as a partnership and respect each other in terms of how you manage that, or you don't.
Once you have that shared respect and responsibility, the detail of how you run the accounts becomes neither here nor there.

gingernutlover Fri 07-Aug-09 11:16:05

me and dh both have our own accounts which our wages go into, I also get any tax credits and child benefit into mine

we have several joint accounts into which dh pays money for all the utility bills and mortgage (ie anything fixed) - it gets used for nothing else and any money we have left in it gets ptransferred to e savings

i pay childcare and grocery bills and these come out of my own account as they can vary month to month and transferring money for these would be complicated.

we both pay our own mobile bills and spending money. I also buy most things for dd because i get the child benefit and I pay for our holidays becasue dh pays for things for doing up the house.

It was only recently that a freind commented on it being a starnge way to do things but it works fine for us.

I would never give up my own bank account - ever. I earn my own money and I would never want dh to dictate how much I could spend on me. Also, we spend money differently, he likes to buy expensive tools once or twice a year whilst i spent little amounts more frequently - it's just easier for us to manage our own finances.

So no, YANBU but maybe he would feel better about it if he also had his own account?

morocco Fri 07-Aug-09 11:17:01

do you earn similar amounts? how do you work out joint savings? curious really. normally I'm a big fan of joint accounts but that's cos it always seems that separate accounts work in the blokes favour cos he earns more and gets to keep it all to himself while the woman is expected to pay for loads more as a proportion of her income out of her part time salary or even worse - savings from before she gave up work to look after the kids.
but it sounds like this is working for you. I liked the suggestion about a joint account for food/bills but separate accounts for a personal allowance each - seems best of all worlds,

KingRolo Fri 07-Aug-09 11:22:13

We have a joint account into which both wages go in and all bills come out. To me it seems the simplest and most honest way of doing things.

janinlondon Fri 07-Aug-09 11:23:56

What is "a better credit history"???

Stigaloid Fri 07-Aug-09 11:24:05

Hmm i may suggest transferring money for household expenses and keeping the rest.

He covers the big stuff - i cover everything that has to do with household and DS. I do all the food/grocery shopping, nappy buys, clothes for DS etc. I pay all my own bills, phones, direct debits etc.

DH earns more than 3 times more than me. My income wouldn't even cover the mortgage but it does just cover food and expenses (travel to work etc) and leaves me around £150-£200 a month to spend on myself for incidentals and treats.

stiginthedumps Fri 07-Aug-09 11:24:16

We have sole accounts each but a joint account for household expenses including all bills, food and childcare. DP earns more than me so we both pay in an amount which leaves us both with the same amount of spending money in our sole accounts. Any money left in our joint account goes off to our joint savings (this rarely happens).

ChristieF Fri 07-Aug-09 11:27:24

Probably best to have both. We have joint account but I don't see it as mine. I have my own savings too. All women need to have their own savings. I read an article a while ago about what happens when someone dies and the same happened to my mother in law. If the DH died all joint accounts are frozen until probate is sorted out. This can be a matter of weeks if there is a will or months if there is no will and the probate has to be sorted out by visits to the probate office. Most people don't realise that they won't have access to any money in a joint account until death certificates have been produced and the probate office has allowed someone to be the executor. They have to give you written proof of this and until they do money is frozen. My father in law died intestate (without a will) and my mother law had no access to their joint cash for weeks until my DH sorted out the probate. The lesson is make a will (it makes the process of getting probate much quicker) and always have a separate savings account.

Stigaloid Fri 07-Aug-09 11:27:29

What is "a better credit history"???

I have had my account with my bank for 16 years. I am able to get access to 'credit' (should i want it but don't) to a greater level than my husband. Mainly due to the fact my husband switches accounts as he goes for the best deals (very savvy of him). A few years ago, before i met him, he was made redundant twice in a year and i think he had to live on credit for a short period. he has never had a black list or anything but my income has always been regular (if somewhat meagre).

valbona Fri 07-Aug-09 11:28:05

I agree with what most people are saying - DH and I have a joint account for bills, food, train tickets, presents for joint friends, that sort of thing, but separate ones for our own lives (which is also where what we earn lands). we just ship across a set amount from personal to joint at the beginning of each month. I like it - you get to feel like a family unit and your own person at the same time.

gigglewitch Fri 07-Aug-09 11:30:29

ditto what valbona said smile

CMOTdibbler Fri 07-Aug-09 11:31:34

We have our own accounts and then a household joint account. Every so often we work out how much needs to go into the joint account, and pro rata the sum we each pay by our salary.

All childcare, house bills and food go out of the joint, we each pay for our own cars, and Ds's clothes are bought by who ever chooses them.

Works out great - it's not that either of us isn't fully commited to a partnership, it just suits us

jemart Fri 07-Aug-09 11:32:33

When we first opened our joint account both of us paid into it. However I kept my own account open. Very glad I did because DH is rubbish with money and continued to treat it as if it was all his (purely out of thoughtlessness, he is a nice DH)

I still have a card for the joint account but really just in case I need to pay things in.

However our attitude to money is that it is "ours" held in common regardless of which account it is in.

morocco Fri 07-Aug-09 11:55:37

bearing in mind his 3x greater salary then, I'd be going for joint bank account and joint savings with a personal allowance deducted from that and put into a separate account for personal spending money (well, I'd actually just have the joint account but it doesn't sound so much your cup of tea)

bruffin Fri 07-Aug-09 11:56:40

We have everything in joint account. There is nothing that is his or mine it all belongs to both of us, that's what marriage is about.

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