Why My Husband and I Have Separate Savings Accounts

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Could this approach work for you and your spouse?


Key points

  • Money fights are common between couples.
  • My husband and I eliminated them because we each get "fun" money to spend.
  • We have separate savings accounts so we can save up our fun money for bigger purchases.

When my husband and I got married, we made a few important decisions about managing our money to help us reduce the likelihood of fighting about our finances. While we set joint goals, combined most of our financial life, and worked out a budget together, we have kept separate savings accounts for most of our marriage.

There's a simple reason why we made the decision to do that.

Separate savings accounts work for us

My husband and I decided to open separate savings accounts because each month, we budget for each of us to have a set amount of fun money that is ours alone to do whatever they want with. This is money we each have the opportunity to spend with no questions asked, with no judgements made, and with no need to check in with each other before making a purchase.

We did this so we can each enjoy having the flexibility to buy what we'd like and the freedom to not have to worry about what our spouse thinks about those purchases. As a financial writer, I know that financial infidelity can be a big issue between couples, as can a feeling that you lack control over your own ability to spend. With separate money allocated to each of us, we were 100% confident we wouldn't ever end up arguing about spending or resenting each other's purchases.

At first, we just had a shared checking account where we kept our funds. But we ended up finding there were some months when we didn't actually need or want to spend our separate fun money that we'd each been allocated in our household budget. And there were other times when we wanted to make larger purchases with these funds than would be possible if we had just a month or two worth of "fun" money available.

Keeping this separate cash in our joint checking account ended up turning into an accounting nightmare since we had to track the amount that was due to each of us. Plus, we like to automate as much of our spending and saving as possible so we know the cash left in our joint checking account is there to spend on purchases we make together. Having our separate fun money sitting in the same account complicated this.

Separate savings accounts simplified the process

To avoid this problem, we each opened a separate savings account. Now, each month, the money we've assigned for separate spending goes into these accounts where we can leave it to earn interest if we don't want to spend it immediately. We can effortlessly save for larger purchases if we want, or we can transfer the money back from savings to pay our share of the credit card bill.

Separate savings accounts simplified the process of maintaining individual fun money, made our monthly budgeting and accounting easier, and even allowed us each to earn some extra interest on our money while we save up for big purchases. The decision to open these accounts has really paid off over time for us, and could be a good solution for couples who want to maintain joint accounts for most of their financial lives while still keeping some crucial independence for each partner.

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Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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