WHEN we marry, our lives become inextricably intertwined. And a natural expectation is that couples will merge everything, from home and family to finances. Increasingly, however, more couples tying the knot are choosing to keep their finances separate, opting to keep individual bank accounts instead of merging, or in addition to their joint accounts.
Below, women who have either opted to keep individual bank accounts instead of pooling all their money with their spouses, or in addition to their joint accounts, share why they do it.
Reniesha, 40, realtor:
Our money management skills are different. We also have several other responsibilities individually outside of our marriage that we need to honour and so it's best to do it from our resources instead of the wealth that we have pooled together. I believe that it reduces the chances of arguments about money. We have investments and so on together though, and we trust each other very much with managing all shared assets.
Georgette, 35, teacher:
I do not want a lot of my money being eaten up by my partner's train of baggage. He has too many expenses outside of our marriage with his parents, siblings and kids. While I don't mind gifting them, I don't want their care to be a monthly expense to me. Also, in case things go sour, it's just easier.
Charmaine, 39, business owner:
I love my husband, but I know what it's like to have a man that I trust bleed me dry. So to avoid all that I just decided not to open any joint account. We decided on who will take care of which bills and we have a financial advisor who manages all the assets that we acquired during the marriage. Of course, there will be miscellaneous expenses, but any one of us takes care of those; that's not a big deal. Money is one of the biggest issues for fights in relationships and even divorces, and I didn't want to deal with that distraction the second time around.
Nerissa, 29, nurse:
I have my account separately from our joint account because I have my individual needs — you know, those that include taking care of hobbies and fun time. Every couple should have some amount of discretionary funds that they can use. It's also a way to budget yourself, and it's also a way to reduce conflict in your relationship.
Melissa, 32, police officer:
I do it because my husband and I don't always see eye to eye about spending on certain things. I want to be able to do my hair and nails, for example, without having to fill out a questionnaire or without having to participate in a review session hosted by my husband right after. I have a 9 to 5 plus my business and I should be able to spend my money in peace once what should be deposited in our joint account reaches it.
Marlene, 54, business owner:
I have a separate bank account; it's a choice that my husband and I made together. However, my husband and I are five years into our marriage and a lot of what we acquired was before the marriage. The joint account includes savings and investments. We both have knowledge of our financial health, and we know we are in good standing and we are comfortable with that.
Sherlene, 29, engineer:
My husband is a heavy drinker and a gambler and when we had our shared account I remember waking up to a message about a substantial amount of money disappearing from our account. He pretended he didn't know where it went until I decided I was going to get the police involved. It happened again and I decided to get what I could from what was left and call it a day.