Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:5 “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
When Christians marry, a miracle occurs and “two become one”. This means physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But it also means financially.
Although I agree couples should have joint accounts, we had separate checking accounts for our first few years of marriage. Moving from financial independence to financial interdependence can be difficult for some married couples. Separate checking accounts that you both have access to allow transparency yet a sense of fairness in the beginning of married life. However, I have found that the longer WE are married the more intertwined our budget becomes and the more blurred the lines of “his” and “hers.” Here are 5 reasons that I think married couples should eventually move towards a joint account, especially if they are Christians.
1. Simplicity/Paying the Bills
The first one is pretty obvious. If there is only one account, paying the bill is much simpler. You don’t have to move $400 over here for the car payment and $200 over there for the utilities. Life is simpler when you have a joint account.
Speaking of paying bills, a joint account forces couples to budget and prioritize together. It requires coordination and financial unity on tithing, savings, and prioritization of expenses in the marriage. Maintaining a budget is key to financial strength and stability. Budgets allow you to plan for the future and to learn to live below your means. A joint account can encourage both spouses to participate in the budget process.
3. Encourages and Enforces Communication
Communication is key with a joint account. With all this budgeting going on both spouses will need to coordinate when purchasing items. A joint account requires a higher level of communication to ensure both spouses don’t spend those last few dollars at the end of the month.
A joint account allows complete transparency and shows you have nothing to hide. It also shows you trust your partner with your money to spend it wisely. Tension can be caused between spouses if there is no trust with the joint account. One spouse might think the other over spends or spends on the wrong items. If you have a joint account you must work to trust your spouse to make the right decisions for your family. Otherwise, there are more issues than just money.
5. Strengthen Your Marriage
“What’s Mine Is Yours, Baby!” That is what my husband and I jokingly say to each other when one person eats the other person’s ice cream. This applies not only to sharing a home (and ice cream) but sharing your revenue and debts as well. When you have a joint account you are able to support each other’s overall financial health, which might include helping pay off the other person’s debts. Paying off both debts will help in the future when jointly applying for new cars or a house that you will both sign for.
If you continue to hold onto the idea of “my money” and “your money” it can be difficult to fully commit to the relationship. Getting a joint account can be the next step towards strengthening your marriage.
Reference: “Financial Unity” from Christian Couples
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