Rachel Cruze joins me to answer a question from Anonymous: “My husband wants separate bank accounts and I don't. What should I do?”
We discuss the options available to our anonymous friend, including the importance of clear communication and even asking for support from a marriage counselor. With money fights being a top reason for marital fights and divorce, this is an important issue to tackle for couples.
In our podcast interview, Rachel and I also discuss her thoughts on the Enneagram Test, how she differs in opinions from her dad (Dave Ramsey), and what she thinks of the FIRE Community.
My Husband Wants Separate Bank Accounts (But I Don't)
In this episode, Rachel and I review the following:
- The disadvantages of having separate bank accounts in marriage
- How marriage counseling can enhance your relationship and your overall communication
- Why our childhood affects our relationship with money
When it comes to marriage and money, getting on the same page matters. Check out this conversation and see how it can help you to create happy, healthy and wealthy relationship goals…whether your husband wants separate bank accounts or not!
How to Communicate More Effectively With Your Spouse
Every couple can relate to that moment when you discover you aren't quite on the same page. In the case of Anonymous, she learned that her husband wants separate bank accounts, even though she did not.
To navigate this money situation and any others you might face, communication is key. It's also a challenge. One thing that Rachel suggests is unpacking the “Why?” behind a situation.
If someone doesn't want to combine accounts, why is that? If someone does, what is driving that decision?
Rachel says that oftentimes couples will discover that there are other issues to address. This can range from different communication styles to trust and entitlement issues. In fact, she says that communicating about money often reveals that there are more marriage issues than money issues. Unearthing the “why” can help couples understand those issues better.
To start communicating more effectively, Rachel suggests taking a three-prong approach:
- Accept and address the emotional side. This means being open to sharing your vulnerabilities with your partner. Share the emotions around the issue and impending decisions.
- Discuss the tactical side. In addition to sharing how you are feeling, spend time strategizing different plans, goals, and dreams about where you see yourselves headed as a family.
- Map out the benefits of getting on the same financial page. While Rachel thinks it's important to address the emotional side of the issue first, there's math to do as well. Crunch the numbers. Draw up spreadsheets. Have a money date. See what could happen for your family if you combine finances or work on whatever money issue you are facing.
The Benefits of Marriage Counseling
Marriage counseling isn't just for couples who are struggling. In fact, most relationships can benefit greatly from an outside perspective.
Money problems are one of the leading causes of divorce. But many times, the fights around money represent something else. That's why so many people can benefit from marriage counseling.
Let's say that Anonymous and her husband can't reach a decision. Her husband wants separate bank accounts even after their conversation. In that instance (and in many other cases!), working with a counselor sooner rather than later can provide a fresh perspective. An unbiased third party who can help you navigate a conversation and unpack the emotions behind it can be very helpful.
How Your Childhood Affects Your Views on Separate Bank Accounts
While Anonymous might have been totally thrown for a loop to learn that her husband wants separate bank accounts, it might seem normal to her husband…and a lot of people. That's because so much of our views on money are shaped long before we are balancing our own budgets and swiping our own credit cards. Your childhood influences a lot of your views toward money, including combined and separate bank accounts.
Rachel says that our classroom growing up is our household. We learn both good and bad lessons here. Some of us will repeat habits and views of our parents without even realizing it. Others react in complete opposite ways. Regardless, your childhood has a deep impact on how you approach money in adulthood.
To help conceptualize this, Rachel says there are four money classrooms:
- The Anxious Money Classroom, where families did not discuss money but lived with the ongoing emotional stress of it.
- The Unstable Money Classroom, where families talk about money issues and carry that stress with them.
- The Unaware Money Classroom, where money is not discussed but emotions are calm around it.
- The Secure Money Classroom, where money is discussed in an emotionally calm way.
Thinking about how your childhood influences your views around money can help you and your partner communicate more clearly and get on the same page financially.
Can Marriage with Separate Accounts Work?
Can a marriage work with separate accounts? It depends on who you ask. Rachel is quick to say no.
She points to shared accounts as yet another sign of unity between the couple. While you might have different interests and passions, she does think that you should share most of your financial accounts. Otherwise, she fears that puts money in between what you are trying to achieve as a couple.
However, this is one case where I have to disagree with our guest financial expert. Marriage can certainly work with separate accounts, and there are many people in the personal finance and FIRE communities who can attest to that. Whether you have separate or joint accounts, though, being on the same page with your goals is key.
For more on my own take, check out my wife and I discuss this topic on this episode of Bread & Wine or review these 3 smart alternatives to combining your finances in marriage.
My Husband Wants Separate Bank Accounts: Closing Thoughts
Finances can drive a wedge between couples. So is it a deal-breaker for Anonymous if her husband wants separate bank accounts? It doesn't have to be!
It is so important to be on the same page as your partner when it comes to the big financial picture and your goals. That way, even if you aren't working from the same spreadsheet, there's still financial transparency in your relationship. And you can confidently move together as you journey toward your dreams.
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Guest Bio – Rachel Cruze
Rachel Cruze is a two-time #1 national best-selling author, financial expert and host of The Rachel Cruze Show. Since 2010, Rachel has served at Ramsey Solutions, where she teaches people to avoid debt, save money, budget and how to win with money at any stage in life. She’s authored three best-selling books, including Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids, which she co-wrote with her father, Dave Ramsey.
Her latest book Know Yourself, Know Your Money: Discover WHY You Handle Money the Way You Do and WHAT to Do About It will release in January 2021.
Rachel Cruze Resources
Other Podcasts and Articles You Might Like
- How to Stick to a Budget – with Kumiko Love (The Budget Mom)
- The Top 3 Reasons Marriages End – with Kimberly Holmes
- What To Do When Your Spouse Spends Too Much – with Ericka Young
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CARPE DIEM QUOTE
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”― Og Mandino
What would you do if your husband wanted separate bank accounts and you didn't? Do you agree with Rachel Cruze?
Please let us know in the comments below.