One of the hardest things about being in a relationship is talking about money. Most couples are happy to share how much they make, but when it comes to discussing how they view money, it’s a subject that often gets ignored – or in some cases avoided on purpose.
Almost one-third of Canadians in relationships (30%) said they keep certain aspects of their finances secret or hidden from their significant other while just 28% of couples share all their finances, according to a report released by BMO Bank of Montreal.
Don’t Keep Secrets
This was a hypothetical survey, but it’s still surprising to see how many respondents would prefer to keep parts of their finances private.
- 45% would choose to conceal what they spend their money on
- 39% would choose to conceal how much they spend
- 34% would choose to conceal how much money they have
- 25% would choose to conceal how much they have saved
- 21%would choose to conceal how much debt they currently have
There’s nothing wrong with keeping some aspects of your finances separate - it can actually be pretty healthy to have some independence, but considering the fact that money is the #1 reason for divorce, it’s probably better to try and be on the same page.
Most people will have different views on how money should be managed, so it’s important to have regular discussions about household finances. It’s not fair to expect one partner to just change overnight, so talk to each other and figure out what your individual priorities are.
Keep in mind that there’s no perfect solution, every couple is different so you need to come up with a solution that works for both partners.
A simple way to combine your finances while maintaining some independence is to open a joint bank account. Joint accounts can be used to pay shared expenses or for savings; how you use them is really up to you, but having at least one joint account should make managing the family finances easier.
Here are a few joint accounts to consider:
Bank of Montreal - BMO just introduced a new feature called PlanShare which allows you to share a single account with your spouse or partner. You can then create up to 20 individual or joint accounts while paying a single monthly fee. PlanShare is available at no extra charge with the Premium, Performance, AIR MILES, and Plus Plan accounts
Tangerine - The Tangerine chequing account is incredibly popular since it’s an online no-fee daily account. The account pays interest and offers additional features that you would get from a regular chequing account. Combine this with Tangerine’s savings accounts and it’s an easy way for your family to save. Even though Tangerine is an online bank, you can get a debit card to access your cash instantly.
TD Bank - The All-Inclusive Banking Plan from TD is one of the best accounts available due to all the features. You get unlimited transactions, the annual fee waived on one of five of their premium Visa cards, discounted U.S. banking, and much more. This account can be setup as an individual or joint account and comes with a monthly fee of $29.95 which is waived if you keep a minimum balance of $5,000.
About the Author: Barry Choi
Barry Choi is a personal finance and budget travel expert at Moneywehave.com. He has been quoted by media in Canada and the United States including: The Financial Post, The Toronto Star, Business Insider, The Globe and Mail, and has appeared on HuffPost Live.