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Managing money as a couple

Combining your finances with your partner can be an efficient way to pay bills and cover household or family expenses. 

Before you merge your money, 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.

If you’re both earning, 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. For example, if one of you makes the account overdrawn, you’ll both be responsible for repaying the money. 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 want to build up some savings together, opening a joint savings account 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 your partner takes money out of the account and spends it on something you’re not happy with, you won’t necessarily be able to get the money back.

Borrowing together

Taking out a joint loan or another form of joint debt, can be useful for paying for 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. If one of you stops contributing 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 can use the credit, but the main credit card account holder will be responsible for paying the amount due.

When you borrow money together, your credit history will also be linked. This means if you decide to borrow money in the future, in your own name, the lender can take into account the other person’s credit score as well as your own. 

What next?

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 from. If you do want to merge your money, or some of it, opening a joint bank account may be a good next step.

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