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Should couples operate joint bank accounts?

Many marriages end for all kinds of reasons, and finance is one of them. In spite of this, many shy away from discussing financial matters in their marriages. Marriage expert Jen Elmquist said communication about finance can be difficult for couples because they feel it invades their privacy or it is embarrassing. However, without these conversations, assumptions are made and damaging secrets are kept.

Also, Betrayal from financial mismanagement can be traumatising and have similar effects as infidelity. In marriage, ‘A man shall leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and they shall become one flesh’. So, couples should share things in common including operating a joint account. But, is it possible for couples with divergent ideas on financial spending to operate a joint bank account?  Is it that simple?

On Whatsapp Conversation, this is what people and our expert are saying about this:


Adesoye Omoyemi

No. They should rather operate a separate account to avoid misunderstanding. If it is a must for them to have a joint account, they should reach consensus on how they spend their money. As such, they should have a monthly budget that will contain all their expenditures for the month including precautionary spending. For wives/husbands who are lavish spenders, they should have miscellaneous. Everything is about understanding. If any couple wants to have a successful joint account, they need to have three motives. Transactional motive: for daily spending such as buying groceries, preparing daily meal; precautionary motive: in case of emergencies such as accident, health issues, and speculative motive mostly in fixed deposit either for miscellaneous or the children’s future endeavour and exploits.


Lemboye Olayinka

A joint account is not bad. All they need to do is to reach a compromise as to what percentage of their earnings goes into the joint account.

In an instance where they both agree at this; how well can they reach compromise in spending wherein secret would not take a stand in such relationship?


Lemboye Olayinka

Communication is key. They have to consult each other before making any huge financial decision.


Opeyemi Olayinka

It is important that oneness exists in marriage. By oneness, I do not mean joint bank accounts but a combination of both, joint and personal bank accounts. The key thing is a joint financial account such as joint budgeting, record of expenses, balancing of account and an agreement on how to make and spend money in order to make good progress.

We believe individuals have different backgrounds and coming together to be one would entail different expenses covered by the joint account, how can they reach a consensus on their divergent thoughts?


Opeyemi Olayinka

First, if the foundation of their union is selfless they could resolve such without much hassle; if it selfish, they need each others’ determination to be selfless in order to forge ahead. More so, some things should be discussed extensively before two adults decide to get married. Some of these are: what they want to achieve in future such as possible job type, decisions to further studies, where to live or a decision on taking in family members as well as responsibilities. These discussions help indicate whether or not you should bother starting a home. No point starting one if you do not agree on a direction. Now, you ought to have your target as a family – goals you want to achieve. These goals determine where you invest your resources, savings and investments. Without such, agreeing on finances is going to be difficult.


Mrs. Toyin Bejide, a communication specialist, is our expert on this matter. She stressed that having a joint account boils down to communication. Even the Bible, in Amos, says ‘can two walk together except they agree’? Couples have to agree on what works for them before they leap into marriage. There are so many reasons why couples divorce and one of the reasons is finance. My husband likes this and I don’t. I have tried talking to him but he won’t listen, and off they go. What happened to talking and agreeing before marriage?

Oh, “people change.” Yes, people change, but they still talk, let him or her know what you have in mind before opting for marriage.

With this, they can decide to have a joint account in which they both have access to. They must understand that savings is everything these days. Children, family and other responsibilities will come. But, they both need to bear it in mind that they are saving for the future of your family. So, no unusual or unnecessary spending. A wife or husband could be a lavish spender. But believe me, in marriage, children will open your eyes to reality.

Even when he/she identifies with the family and children but has the believe that if he/she spends another would come in, how do you handle joint account with such a partner?

As regards this question, Mrs. Toyin Bejide opined that we live in a country where your daily income is almost not guaranteed. If both couple are government workers without the usual everyday bribery, then you spend according to your pocket Even if you work with NNPC or Chevron, your job isn’t even secured, not in this era. Couples should be wise. If you want to spend recklessly, stay single.

In a case where the man is the lavish spender, and understanding the tone men hold in our cultural setting, how can such couples reach a compromise without having issues in their marriages?

Here, Mrs. Toyin Bejide said the man would eventually accept when the reality of life and marriage dawns on him, when the reality of ‘It’s not only me again’ falls on his shoulder. However, it takes a patient wife to see into this. When single, you misbehave and do things the way you would want it. But, when you are two, you come to realise that: I am not the only one in this marriage.


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