Is it okay to have separate bank accounts?

Updated December 29, 2023

Before we jump in let's clarify quick what a separate bank account actually means. A separate bank account is a stand alone account that your spouse does not have any sort of access to. It's okay to have multiple accounts (and you should!), but both of you should have access to all accounts.

When we talk about finances on Instagram, without a doubt, one of the most common questions we get is, "Is it okay to have separate bank accounts once we're married?"

This question is usually rooted in a deeper desire that might sound something like:

  • You want to have separate spending money you can use however you want (ie, an "allowance")
  • You don't want your spouse to see gifts you purchased for them
  • You think keeping your money separate will lead to fewer fights about finances
  • You don't want someone else to control your money and how you spend it
  • You don't want your partner to know how much money you make
  • You view debt as "his debt" or "her debt" and feel as if it should be kept that way

Or a number of other reasons.

What does the Bible say?

Ephesians 5:31 says, "For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."Being "one flesh" means more than just sharing a bed and being sexually intimate, it also means sharing a life. Sharing money. Sharing a bank account. When you say "I do," you're committing all of yourself (yes, that includes your money) to your spouse for the rest of your life. Here's a great article on this topic.

But what about...

You could come up with a thousand reasons why you shouldn't share a bank account (or why you don't want to share a bank account), but the Bible is clear on this topic: one flesh, one life, one bank account.

If you want some fun money you can spend however you want, talk to your partner about including that in your monthly budget.

If you're worried about your partner seeing gifts you got them: withdraw cash, ask them not to look, use a Visa gift card, or have a friend help pay for it and pay them back later (see? Easy peasy).

If you're worried about a joint bank account causing more fights, the opposite is actually true. You'll feel like roommates who are hiding things from each other instead of husband and wife.

If you don't want someone to control your money and tell you how to spend it... well... you may not be ready for marriage (plus, a joint bank account doesn't mean control). After all, if you don't feel you can fully trust your partner, that might be a red flag.

If you don't want your partner to know about much money you make... again, maybe take a step back and reevaluate if you're ready for marriage (we say this in love).

If you believe paying off debt should be kept separate, again, we'd encourage you to press pause and ask yourself why you feel like that's the case. This leads to a "Well that's his/her problem, not mine," mindset. And to be very direct with you (in the most loving big brother/sister way), that's not mindset that belongs in marriage.

Okay, so why should we have a joint account?

Aside from the Biblical guidance around this topic (and most marriage topics), it's just a smart idea to have a joint bank account. Joint bank accounts allow you to:

  • both have access to all of your funds
  • hold each other accountable and help you stick to a budget
  • see your whole financial picture at once
  • take equal ownership over bills, chores, and more
  • view your finances as an "us" thing, not a "me vs you thing"

We can't pick and choose which parts of our lives become "one" in marriage. It's "I do" to all or "I do" to nothing.

BTW, we have a whole section on finances as a part of our online premarital course.

Have a question about this post? We'd love to hear from you! Shoot us a message at @loveyourfirstyear on Instagram

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