Whether you’re looking for a more efficient way to pay bills and household expenses, or you’re wanting to cover the cost of your family between you, combining your finances with your partner can be helpful. Before you do, it’s important to look at the pros and cons of opening different types of accounts together.
Joint current accounts
A joint current account can be useful for handling shared expenses with your partner. You can decide whether you’ll both contribute your full wage, a percentage of your wage or another amount which you agree on. It’s useful to decide this prior to opening a joint account.
If you do open a joint current account, be aware that it does carry some risks and there are things you need to consider. If one of you has a poor credit rating, it may affect the other person, as you may be ‘co-scored’.1 You’ll also lose some privacy, as you'll both be able to see what’s happening on the account.
Joint savings accounts
If you're wanting to build up some savings together, opening a joint saver can be a way to separate your money from your everyday spending and earn interest.
Like with a joint current account, there are risks involved when opening a savings account with someone. For example, if money is taken out of the account by a partner and they spend it on something you’re not happy with, you're not necessarily going to be able to get the money back.
Taking out a joint loan or another form of joint debt, can be useful for purchasing something you need quickly – if you don’t have time to save up for it. Keep in mind, you’ll both be responsible for paying back the money and if one of you stops for whatever reason, the other person will still be responsible for making the full payment.
When it comes to a credit card, you can add an additional cardholder who will have a card with their name on it. The main credit card account holder will be responsible for paying the amount due.
You don’t need to merge all your finances if you don’t want to, or feel you’re not ready. You can also start slowly, perhaps by keeping your individual current accounts and using a joint account as a place to pay bills and do shopping from. If you do want to merge your money, or some of it, opening a joint bank account may be a good next step.