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Whether you’re only dating or you’re getting married, the topic of joint accounts will come up. It’s certainly worth considering joining finances, but you need to keep your own bank account as well.
One of the biggest mistake couples make is joining all their finances. It’s normal to think you’re creating a life together so everything should be shared. That’s especially the case when you move in together or you get married.
Once upon a time, a woman had to combine her finances with her husband. She didn’t have her own finances. It wasn’t until the 1960s in the United States that women were getting the ability to gain their own bank accounts. It was in 1974 when the discrimination completely came to an end, but you’ll still see banks favor the man of the house over the woman.
As a woman, you want to keep your own bank account when a relationship gets serious. I actually say this for everyone (man or woman or non-binary), but my blog is aimed at work-at-home moms. So, as a woman, you need you rown account.
This doesn’t mean you can have a joint account. It does make sense to have one, but you need something separate as well. I always kept a separate account, and I’ll ensure my daughters have their own accounts at all times. Here’s why your own account is important.
You have something if it all goes wrong
You just never know how a relationship is going to play out. Sure, we all want to believe we’re going to be the 50% of marriages that will survive, but there are 50% of marriages that don’t. And that’s just marriages! If you’re living common law, there is potentially a higher risk of splitting up. When you keep your own bank account, you’re prepared.
You can put a little bit of money into this account each month. It’s your get out fund.
If you realize your partner is abusive (they don’t show their colors right away), then you have some money of your own to be able to start again. If you just realize the marriage isn’t working, you don’t have to stay just because of finances.
For those who didn’t keep your own bank account, it’s not too late. Open one now in only your name.
You can form your own credit score
It’s not just about having a bank account. You’ll also want your own credit card. This shouldn’t be a partner’s that you have access to. You want your very own with your name on it.
A credit score is a powerful tool in the financial world. It can make or break the ability to escape a bad relationship. This could be the only way to get the loans greenfield you need for a new vehicle, or be able to rent a new apartment when you want to leave.
Having your own financial identity* is the best thing you can do throughout life.
Having your own credit score is also great if there’s a death. Let’s say your partner dies rather than leaves, but they were the one with the credit score. You may be able to stay in your home, but getting other credit will take time and be more expensive for you. Life is already going to be more expensive, and you may end up needing to move to afford your new life. You need a credit score for that.
Did you keep your own bank account?
What have you done when it comes to your finances? Did you keep your own bank account, or did you merge everything?
Don’t worry if you merged it all. Open your own account and get your own credit card today. This will help you in an emergency should anything happen.
More: Should you combine finances with your partner?
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