How to open a joint bank account with your partner

You and your partner may share everything — a dog, an apartment, a Netflix account, and, of course, your deepest, darkest secrets. But none of that really compares to sharing a joint bank account.

Merging finances with your partner is a huge deal and definitely a major relationship milestone that tends to get overlooked. There’s a lot to consider and not every couple can do it successfully. That’s because when you open a joint checking account with your S.O., there’s no such thing as “my money” and “your money.” The money belongs to both of you. What’s theirs is yours and what’s yours becomes theirs. That’s what makes the idea of a joint bank account both exciting and kind of terrifying.

But if you’re seriously considering opening a joint bank account with your partner, Priya Malani, financial expert and founder of Stash Wealth, a financial planning and investing firm for millennials, tells us how to do it. 

 "In order to open a joint bank account, you have to both apply together using a joint account opening application," Malani tells HelloGiggles. "Each bank is a little different but for most major banks, this is a process you can do online. You will be asked standard identity verification questions. If approved, each of you will be issued a debit card linked to your newly joint checking account." 

It’s surprisingly easy for such a huge thing. Arguably the bigger challenge is deciding whether or not it’s a good idea, or if it’s even necessary in the first place.

When you should open a join bank account?

“Typically, we encourage clients to think about merging accounts when the relationship becomes serious,” Malani says. “This means a little something different to everyone, but a good indication that you may benefit from a joint checking account is when you move in together.” That’s because a joint checking account can simplify the management of household expenses.

To maximize the benefit she says, you might even want to consider re-directing your paychecks so your incomes go directly to your joint checking account. By doing this, you won’t having to worry about transferring money every single time. You can just easily pay bills, rent, and even add money into the savings account from there.

"It becomes very easy to see where your money is going," Malani says. "By setting it up to so that all your money is going in (and out of) one account, you will quickly see if you and your partner are living a lifestyle you can actually afford or if adjustments need to be made."

Having a joint bank account means your money should go toward your essential needs as a couple first.

If you find that you are running low on money each month, Malani says you need to figure out a way to either spend less money or earn more. That’s why having open communication around money and finances in your relationship is key. Opening a joint bank account allows for more transparency in regard to finances, which can be useful in preventing any money arguments you could’ve had.

Overall, whether opening a joint bank account with your partner is a good idea or not really depends on you. Like anything in your relationship, it takes a lot of work and open communication to make it flow smoothly. But if you know you and your partner can do it, go for it.