As soon as you open a joint account with your partner, he announces himself: fighting over money. These tips should help so that your love is not overshadowed by money discussions.

Being independent and earning your own money – that’s the big goal as soon as you stop putting your feet under the table with your parents. If at some point you are in a long-term relationship and possibly living together, then the question naturally arises: should we give up our financial independence a bit and throw the finances together?

Mind you: A joint account does not have to mean that you do not also have your own separate account.

We have highlighted the topic “joint account” for you and reveal helpful tips to prevent disputes over money.

Case 1: A joint account – no longer your own

If you only have one joint account and not a separate one, you really have to agree with your partner. Couples should check beforehand whether their consumer behavior is similar. This variant is often found in couples who have been together for a very long time and where the ownership structure has already largely mixed up. There is hardly a “yours” or “mine” anymore, because most of the purchases are made together.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of only having one joint account and no longer having your own?

Advantages:

  • You only pay account fees once. (Unless you don’t pay any account management fees at your bank anyway.)
  • Both have access to the account and can therefore pay for everything that is to be purchased or paid for together from there without having to calculate back and forth whether both have given the same amount.
  • It is a sign of trust and strengthens the feeling: we belong together and have no secrets from each other.

Disadvantages:

  • If you plan surprises for your partner, you’ll be caught out quickly, for example with gifts or secretly planned trips.
  • You are completely open about your consumption behavior and are mutually accountable to each other when it comes to spending.
  • If both partners have very different consumer behavior, a single joint account makes little sense. Trouble can always arise if one of the two is more generous with the shared money.
  • ​Both are equally liable for overdrafts / attachments – regardless of which of the two is responsible.

Case 2: A household account – everyone also keeps their own account

Both partners pay a fixed monthly amount for all common costs directly from their own account to the household account.

The money in the joint account is used to pay rent, electricity, gas, landline telephone, internet and television provider etc. and the estimated costs for all purchases such as food, household goods and cosmetics.

All other things that go beyond that, everyone pays from their own account. In this way, neither of them has to disclose their consumer behavior and they have the feeling of being able to decide for themselves what they do with their money. Both keep the feeling of independence.

There are two types of accounts:

  1. The and account: Any disposal here requires the consent of both account holders.
  2. The oder account: Here both can dispose of the money independently of each other. Each of them has their own bank card for the account and their own PIN number. Online banking runs via an account.

You should note that:
The prerequisite for the joint account with two accesses (or account) is usually the joint (registered with the office) place of residence. However, it is also possible to open a joint account without a shared residence. Then the And account variant is recommended.

Tip: If the partners are equally responsible for the account, then both should grant each other powers of attorney so that in an emergency, if one of them cannot be contacted, the other is not left without money.

Also good to know: Both partners should only make payments via the joint account that are also due for both parties. If there are also larger deposits from one of the two, e.g. B. the payment of a life insurance, this could otherwise be interpreted as a partial gift to the partner and this could lead to problems with the tax office.

Special case 1: One earns significantly more

With the existing gender pay gap, it is not surprising that both partners do not always earn the same. But earnings often differ, regardless of gender. So what if he contributes 4,000 euros net per month, but she only contributes 1,700 euros? If you only have one joint account, you ask yourself: Does the higher earner have more right to the money or are both salaries together “ours”?

A possible solution so that one of the two doesn’t always feel bad (either the one who pays more or the one who feels bad because he pays less): You choose the variant in which there is a household account and two additional individual accounts gives. Both pay into the household account, but in different amounts. Fixed costs such as rent etc. could be converted as a percentage of the salary, so that both partners are equally burdened based on their salary.

Special case 2: One earns the money, the other looks after the offspring

If there are children and one of them takes care of them full-time, both have only one income: that of the sole breadwinner – usually this is still the man. This situation is complicated for many women, since they are not used to being dependent on their partner’s salary and having to ask him for money, so to speak. Because the child benefit alone is of course not enough to live on.

As a woman, who would want to ask their partner for money in order to be able to treat themselves to something new, to buy new shoes or whatever? It takes a sure instinct and a solution that is good for both of you. Unfortunately, not everyone in our society realizes how much work in the family or in the household is worth. Both partners should discuss this in advance.

See the family as a family business

Ideally, families make it so that they have a family account from which all bills go. The main breadwinner then pays a fixed household allowance. The child benefit also goes to this account. From this account all joint costs are borne. So nobody has to feel like a petitioner, but ideally you see yourself as a family business in which everyone contributes their part to the success
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Because the fact is: the man works, as does the woman – but on the children’s front. Both deserve a wage for this, which they then share. If the woman did not look after the children, the partner could not work; if he looked after the children, the woman went to work. Some couples also do it in such a way that the earner transfers a kind of “monthly salary” to a separate account for the person who takes care of the family and household. So both have their accounts and a degree of freedom.

Tip: There should be at least a small monthly amount that the non-working part just gets without the money being earmarked. So he can do whatever he wants, e.g. B. Gifts for the partner can be bought with the money.

Women and Financial Independence

And one last tip, even if it’s unromantic: Especially today, when we have changing partnerships, it is quite logical to maintain a certain financial independence. Women in particular should think about this. Especially since they have to consider losses in wealth accumulation, on the career ladder and in old-age provision due to the parental leave, which they usually deny.

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