Many people who have recently married or are in serious relationships come to a point where they aren’t sure what to do with their bank accounts. Do I need to have my own account? Should we share all of our money? Should we have a mixture of both? What is going to work best for me?
These are all questions you may find yourself asking and it can be a stressful thing to consider. Even if you trust the person you are with; here are some tips as to how you can go about getting the best of both worlds.
You Need to Have Your Own
Even if you want to have joint accounts for certain things, it is important that you have something to call your own. As much as you don’t want to imagine this happening; even if you trust something, if there is ever a strain on the relationship or a divorce in the works; things can change.
People can completely change when they are faced with tough situations and the person you think you know can turn out to be nothing like what you know currently. So, if all of your money was joined together; this could lead to issues. You need to have a back-up plan just to be safe because nothing in life is guaranteed.
Joint Accounts are Great for Bills
In order to make paying bills extremely simple, a lot of couples will have an account where they have money that is only used for bills. Even if you choose to have separate accounts for your ‘fun’ spending, this can prove to be quite effective. This is going to allow both people to have direct access and the ability to keep up with bills.
Separate Accounts: Splitting the Expenses
Another way some couples choose to pay for things is by having separate accounts but split expenses. Maybe one person is going to pay for the cell phones, while the other covers insurance. There are many ways to do this and it all depends on what you both prefer.
Some people have bills that are separate (only in his name or her name) and they choose to pay for these things on their own.
For example, maybe you each pay for your own car insurance and your own cell phones so you can deal with your own overages and things of that nature without affecting the other person’s credit.
Keep a Better Eye on Things with Joint Accounts
One of the reasons joint accounts are so great is because it forces financial conversations regularly. Let’s say a bill is a bit late; if you have separate accounts, one person may not notice until it is too late and especially if both names are on the bill, this could cause fights.
When both people have access, if one person happens to forget something or overlook, the other person can then pick up the slack. Two sets of eyes are much better than one!
Four Advantages to Having a Joint Bank Account
Getting married often means more than just exchanging wedding vows. Marriage combines belongings, responsibilities, and usually money. While some married couples may find that keeping separate bank accounts works best for their financial situation, joint checking accounts come with some added benefits.
The following are four major advantages that will result when a couple decides to band together all of their income sources into one account.
1. Easy Bill Payments
Since all of the couple’s money has been pooled into one place, it becomes much simpler to handle paying bills. This helps to avoid fights over dividing the expenses equally or deciding who will pay which bills.
If a married couple is adamant for keeping separate accounts, they can open a joint account that will be set aside only for paying the bills.
However, each person must remember to contribute to the account in order to avoid overdrafts when the bills are due. Having a joint account is the overall easiest way to cover all expenses and minimize budget fighting.
2. Less Bookkeeping Paperwork
One joint account reaps the benefit of having significantly less paperwork and bookkeeping to keep track of. Instead of two or more bank statements, there will only be one. Therefore, this helps avert the struggle of searching through piles of bank statements to refer to a certain transaction.
If a couple is waiting for a specific check or payment to clear, it will be easier to watch just one account too. All of the banking information will be at the couple’s fingertips in one organized file.
3. Increased Accessibility
A joint account allows both partners the opportunity to have direct access to their shared money. Both of the individuals can use the bank account for withdrawals or deposits without having to seek special permission from the other partner.
Personal checks will have both of their names clearly printed on them, which means that both individuals can make a payment or large purchase without waiting for funds to transfer. For the largest source of checks, visit http://www.checks-superstore.com/.
4. Financial Solidarity
Many married couples feel more trust and unity with their partner after opening a joint checking account in both of their names. When all the finances are combined, it can create a greater bond between the two individuals, who are sharing their lives and money together now. Joint checking accounts give both partners increased access and stronger control over finances.
Joint checking accounts can provide tremendous benefits and financial ease into the marriage, but they are not for everyone. Before making a decision on which type of checking account is best for a married couple, it is important to research both options thoroughly.
How To Get A Bank Account With Bad Credit
It is by no means an exaggeration to claim that a bank account is something of a basic utility – in fact, many customer rights organizations are considering access to one a human right.
After all, the debit card that usually comes with a bank account isn’t just a really useful payment method when purchasing items online or in the shops. It also means you don’t have to take cash out with you and therefore also constitutes a safer way of shopping.
Most importantly, however, it has simply become unthinkable to deal with your financial transactions, such as receiving money from your employer or transferring money to third parties, without at least a basic bank account.
However, if you are unlucky enough to have got a bad credit score you may find it hard to get a bank account and all the benefits that come with it. This effectively creates a vicious circle and prevents you from making a fresh start.
Bad credit bank accounts from high street banks
Despite the dilemma mentioned in the opening paragraph, there are ways to get a bank account for bad credit, however. You could, for example, apply to one of the major banks on the high street for a bank account and ask for a so-called basic bank account.
This type of account is reserved for the financially less-well-off and typically does not include a debit card or checkbook. With a basic bank account for bad credit, you might not be able to set up direct debits or standing orders.
Furthermore, if your credit history is very bad, even trying to apply for another bank account could leave a black mark on your credit report.
And yet, as limited as these facilities may be, many banks still retain the right to refuse applicants for fear of losing money on them – no wonder many bankrupts and long-term unemployed have begun worrying they’ll never be able to find a bank account at all.
Bad credit bank accounts from untrustworthy companies
And yet, there are companies that promise to get a bad credit bank account for you that will allow you to access the usual banking facilities. This would mean you could get a checkbook and even be allowed overdrafts, but you would have to pay a fee each time you’re making use of this privilege.
This is not something you should seriously consider. The last thing you need is another disreputable company making money on the back of your problems – especially when you could end up paying out a lot of money for not very much in return.
Guaranteed bad credit bank accounts
Which is why finding a professional alternative to a standard bad credit bank account should be your priority. Thankfully, they’ve now become widely available.
There are financial institutions out there that will give you an account if you get your income, be it from wages or benefits, paid into it. You will be able to set up standing orders, perform your online banking tasks and you will also get a prepaid MasterCard.
This essentially works like a debit card, only you first have to load money onto it before you can use it in the shops and to get money from an ATM.
Some of these types of card issuers will also report back to the credit reference agency and make a record of how you manage your finances. In some cases, this can actually improve your credit rating in the long-term and bring you back on the road to recovery again.
A formidable solution
The big advantage of this type of bank account for bad credit is that you are guaranteed to be accepted – which is why they are generally referred to as guaranteed accounts. The downside is that a guaranteed bad credit bank account costs a monthly fee.
This can be around twelve pounds fifty per month and there may also be an administration fee when you set up the account. Which means that before you decide which bad credit bank account to choose, you should do some research to see how much you will be charged and if it is worth your while.
For most, however, a guaranteed account makes for a formidable alternative to the current- and basic accounts offered by traditional banks. Bad credit no longer means a bad future – which already makes for an important step forward.
Alternatives To Big Name Banks To Look After Your Money
Over recent years credit unions and other high street banking alternatives have seen a surge in popularity, but one thing’s for sure: It’s important to know your options before making the leap to a new type of service or provider.
1. Explore other providers
Just because you catch sight of easy lending terms, flashy rates or community spirit it doesn’t mean that you’ve found the right option for you. Doing that involves a careful comparison of the benefits and drawbacks of each option- and to compare you will need to shop around to get a whole set of terms that suit you and your money.
2. Welcome to the lending evolution: Credit unions
Consumers now have more choice than ever when it comes to finding ways to store their money.
One of the options available in the credit union; while this option is by no means a new addition to the savings landscape they have recently seen something of a comeback.
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial establishments run by members rather than shareholders. Many are run by volunteers, based on democracy and have a community focus.
Credit unions allow their users to both save and borrow money through, often offering a number of other financial services such as credit checking.
If you’re looking to borrow money, as with any other lender, restrictions will apply. For example, you may have to have been a member and saved with the union for a period of time before you are able to borrow.
It may also be worth noting that it is likely that the amounts you can borrow from a credit union may be limited to as little as £100. However, by law, a credit union cannot charge you any more interest than 26.8% interest per year which can offer consumers a degree of security. A credit union should make it clear to you exactly how much you will be charged from the offset.
Like with banks and other financial institutions registered with the FSA, all savings made with credit unions are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000 per person per institution, provided they are FSA regulated.
Other types of provider
In addition to high street banking options and credit unions in recent years, we have seen many supermarkets and other companies bringing out new financial offerings such as mortgages, insurance products, energy provisions, and credit cards. Sometimes they can provide consumers with competitive rates of interest, but like all other options, careful consideration and comparison are required to find the most suitable account for your money.
As we find ourselves firmly integrated into a digital era, there are now also the number of online banking provisions can potentially be utilized to your financial advantage.
In addition to the number of financial products that can be found on the web, it can also be a great place to shop around for the best deal. Managing your banking online can also help to counteract limited bank opening times giving you the power to use bank services at the click of a button.
Like with other banking services you should check that a provider is FSA regulated and protected by the FSCS before proceeding and that you understand all the risks as well as the benefits involved.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Choosing the right option for your needs can seem confusing with a growing number of services available on the market. With every provider giving you reasons why their product is the best, it can be complex to navigate. Thorough research and seek independent financial advice where appropriate could help you get the most out of your money in the long run.
If you feel you are not getting the most from your high street bank, you are not obliged to stay with them. Nevertheless making the switch should never be a hasty decision. Reviewing and comparing the market could help you to find an option right for your money.
Read also: The Up and Down of Interest Rates