This article is sponsored by Westpac.
Hello happy couples, allow this super single Pringle to talk to you about joint bank accounts.
If you’re considering taking the next step with your partner or person you’re relatively fond of, there are a few things you should consider, from choosing a bank all the way down to ground rules and limits set.
It’s a considerate step to take and not one that should be looked at lightly, so best read up and get informed.
What’s the point of getting a joint account?
For a lot of couples, a joint bank account is simply easier to manage — instead of having to constantly transfer to one another for bills or large purchases, partners can simply use the same account for purchases or spending they would usually make together.
A joint bank account can be a handy tool to use if you’re also planning long-term savings goals.
How much should each person contribute?
This is entirely up to couples and can usually depend on factors such as salary disparity, existing savings, what the account will be used for and the goals each couple sets.
Wanna go 50/50? Do it. 35/65? Sure. 70/30? If you’re both happy and in agreement, off you go.
What should partners discuss before opening one?
There are a few ground rules that should be put in place before opening a joint account, especially if both of you have wildly different approaches to spending and saving.
A couple of blanket rules to agree on are:
- A withdrawal limit
- What you spend the money from your joint account on
- Whether you can withdraw money without consulting the other person
- What the goal is for that account
- Whether there’s a long-term plan for the money in that account
If you don’t discuss it prior to opening an account, there’s a strong likelihood of conflict down the line, so it’s good to lay the groundwork before you kick things off. It’s also important to acknowledge and discuss where you’re both at financially, remembering that your partner may find talking about this sort of thing a little more difficult than you do.
There are some nifty resources available here to help you with these conversations.
Are there any risks?
Sure, as is the case with most money-related ventures.
The main risk lies with your partner. This single Pringle isn’t trying to cause a divide between the two of you, but you should be able to trust your partner fully before taking this next step.
If you have reservations about your partner’s trustworthiness or spending in general (are they terrible at budgeting?), you might want to hold off until you get to a place where you do have complete faith in them.
What happens to your existing accounts?
Keep ’em. Use your personal account to make cute purchases for yourself or for a little treat here and there. Holding on to money that’s solely yours is always a wise move.
How do you decide on what bank to go with?
Entirely up to the couples but hunt around and find a joint account with additional perks. You and your partner may be required to go into your local branch to open a joint account for security purposes.
Westpac’s Choice joint account offers no withdrawal fees at any major Australian bank and waived account-keeping fees if you deposit $2k a month (which you can do by diverting two salaries straight to the account).
This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.