ONLY one in eight married couples now share all their money in a joint account, a poll has revealed.
The most common reason for not sharing was that people find it easier to manage their own finances.
But of those who did share accounts, 45 per cent said it helped them discuss their finances openly and 72 per cent said it was all part of a trusting relationship, according to a Saga Savings survey.
Here, two writers give us their views on sharing finances.
Says dating expert Dennie Smith
DENNIE and her husband Graham, 56, a printer, have four grown-up children and live in Surrey. All of their money goes into one joint account. Dennie, 58, who runs the website Old Style Dating, says:
“When I met first met my husband many moons ago, he didn’t even have a bank account as he was paid in cash every week.
“But we fell madly in love, decided to get married and buy a house, so it made sense to roll all our finances into one.
“We opened a joint account and whatever we were paid went straight in.
“To us, it was as simple as brushing your teeth every morning.
“It was part and parcel of being in a serious relationship – we’d made a commitment to be together. We went on to have four children.
“To live together and have a separate bank account, I don’t get how that would work. It’s just going to get complicated.
“What happens when the TV licence arrives? Do you have to argue about who watches it more before deciding who will pay for it?
“All our bills come out of the one account – we share everything and we don’t keep any secrets from one another.
WE WORK AS A TEAM
“I’m not the sort of person who would buy an expensive coat then hide it from my other half or tell him it was cheaper than it was.
“I probably do spend more money than him but if he sees I’ve had a bit of a splurge, he’ll just roll his eyes at me. He never moans.
“Graham tends to do the food shopping and we pay for that with our joint money. We both eat the food so we both pay for it.
“At Christmas, like most women I’m the one that orders the presents and does all the shopping. It’s paid for out of our joint account. We work as a team.
“When the children were young, Graham was earning more than me. Now I have my own business and I earn more.
“It’s been swings and roundabouts over the years. Occasionally, he might be going on a big night out and he’ll check he’s OK to withdraw some cash. I’m the banker really.
“I tend to open the letters from the bank and check the balance. He never looks at it.
“You have to trust each other to share finances. I’m not going to stitch him up and run away with all the money and neither will he do that to me.
“Even if you’re not married, if you share a mortgage and split up, you still have to split the house in half and all your possessions.
“We know that, like everything we have shared, it’s half and half all the way.”
Says mum-of-three Clare O’Reilly
CLARE, 40, lives with husband Jon, 47, and their kids Eddie, 15, and Sammy, 11, and eight-year-old Annie, near Plymouth. She says:
“When Jon and I first met in 2002, we got serious pretty quickly, but in all the “how many kids shall we have” conversations, neither of us mentioned sharing a bank account.
“Fast-forward 17 years and it’s not something we’ve ever even discussed doing.
“We’re happy being financially separate and that won’t change any time soon.
“I know Jon’s surprise when he opens his Christmas present is genuine because we don’t share bank statements.
“While most people’s daily withdrawal limit is around £350, with our separate spending power ours is £700 and we’ve got two overdrafts rather than one.
“I’m no miser or penny-pincher but what I earn is mine and what he earns is his.
“We don’t even have a shared account for bills, he pays some, I pay the others and I pay half the mortgage into his account.
“Have we ever come unstuck because we don’t share the same account sort code? No.
“The list of people who find it odd though are endless – not least the bank manager, but also my parents, his mum and many friends who share current accounts, ISAs, mortgage accounts and credit card accounts.
WE SPARE OURSELVES ROWS
“We’ve had comments in the past that one or both of us must have something to hide if we keep our accounts and spending private. But it’s not about deception, there’s an independence that comes with having separate accounts.
“I don’t have to check with Jon before I buy something, and don’t have to account for every dime that comes into or goes out of my account.
“Should the worst happen when we’re away and one of us loses our bank card, we can simply cancel that card and survive on the other.
“I like our restaurant visits, too. I often give Jon my card to put in his wallet and on the rare occasion I insist on paying for dinner, the waiter or waitress always presumes he’s paying when he gets my card out.
“When he hands me the chip-and-PIN machine and explains it’s not his card, there’s always a look of incredulity mixed with disdain that Jon has not reached into his wallet.
“There’s nothing I won’t tell Jon and there’s nothing we don’t share. He knows all my PIN numbers and online banking log-ins but we don’t need to share money.
“Money often comes up as one of the top issues couples argue about so by keeping our money separate, I like to think we’re sparing ourselves at least a few rows too.”