Together by Marriage, Separated by Bank Accounts

By Michael Reilly on February 21, 2018

I recently came across an article on Yahoo Finance titled “Why Married Couples Should Have Separate Bank Accounts.” Now, whether you agree with this suggestion or not, there’s no doubt the title of this article is certainly one that I’d imagine would grab the attention of anyone either currently married or planning to be in the future.

Seems like an odd suggestion, right? Typically, it seems a bit more practical that while married, you and your spouse share finances and whatnot. A team effort.

However, the article mentions results from a 2013 Kansas State University survey of over 4,500 couples that concluded that arguments over finances were far and away the number one predictor of divorce.


My first thought when reading was confusion. I didn’t find the simple fact that couples argue over finances to be peculiar; that made sense. What was puzzling for me was the idea of getting divorced over it. I mean, you gotta think, doesn’t going through a divorce require hiring lawyers, someone moving into a new house and what not? Seems like if anything it would just make the financial situation of both parties even more stressful.

On top of that, what if you have children as well? I fumble over the thought of a financial argument being worth separating and having to put your kids through that nonsense as well. Also a little side note to that, both parties will likely end up spending more on gas driving their kids to and from their ex-spouses’ house.

Continuing along, it’s then mentioned that according to a report from, approximately 7.2 million Americans have a hidden bank account that their spouse or partner doesn’t know about.

Now I don’t exactly know much about the in and outs of marriage, but I’m gonna go ahead and guess that keeping a secret like this from your spouse probably won’t go over too well.

Why do a considerable amount of people tiptoe their way around having a secret bank account? The article describes that having joint finances and whatnot causes financial dependence. What this entails is never feeling financially free no matter how much income you may be earning. It’s a lot like back in the day when you were too young to have a job and had to ask your parents for money; you weren’t financially independent.

So what’d be some helpful solutions to feeling this aforementioned financial independence while not letting it potentially end your marriage?

Perhaps the first step should be discussing this topic with your spouse. Obviously, as was touched upon already, going behind your partner’s back is in absolutely no way a good idea. In fact, it’s quite literally the opposite.

A good system would be to budget your money. A pretty easy and simple way to do this would be to split things up into three accounts; your personal account, your spouse’s personal account, and a combined account for family-related expenses such as bills or saving for your children’s education.

Seems like things should run pretty smoothly. You talk and discuss it, come to an agreement, split your earnings up accordingly and “the rest is history”…or something like that. The best part is the idea that you have financial freedom without hiding from your spouse or anyone else!

For more information on the concept of married couples having separate bank accounts, check out this article on one of my personal favorite finance blogs, moneycrashers.

By Michael Reilly

Uloop Writer

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