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  • Writer's pictureSmoov

Couples who have joint accounts stay together longer... really?

Last week this article from Yahoo finance blew up on pubity instagram page and maybe a dozen separate people sent it to us - you know who you are and we appreciate you.

Actually the very same study revealed that couples who keep their accounts separate, have more fun...

"they also spend money differently, in that they tend to spend more on sensible, utilitarian stuff and less on hedonic, kind of fun stuff"

We're playing a little bit here but it's worth mentioning that this is one single study, of millions, and that doesn't mean it's gospel.

We know there is no silver bullet for managing and sharing expenses within your relationship and at Smoov, we are really just working to provide a new alternative solution to what's already out there.

That being said, any type of press related to couples and expenses and the challenges that come with it is good stuff for Smoov.

The underlying theme of the study is simply that transparency and consistency around finances can lead to a happier and healthier relationship which is exactly what we believe. We also happen to believe a shared bank account is not a prerequisite for a more fulfilling relationship.

The first point worth looking into is that, couples who have joint accounts spend differently... "more on sensible utilitarian stuff and less on fun stuff."

You're less likely to spend money on fun things... Ummm what? We're swiping left on this take. If joining bank accounts means less fun in the relationship, we're out. After all isn't one of the main keys to a long and successful relationship keeping it fun and interesting?

A couple of key things that are missing here...

  • Education status.

  • Employment status

  • Geographic data.

By our count all of these things play major parts in economic wellbeing and how couples merge finances together.

Below is a chart they showed in the interview about the study...

Please correct us if we are wrong here but does this chart not show that high income couples who have separate bank accounts are actually reporting higher relationship satisfaction?

This is particularly insightful because it's aligned with a lot of our thinking at Smoov. As couples start to earn more on an individual level, the likelihood of them valuing their financial autonomy increases. Couples are getting married later in life, and later in their careers when they have built more independent wealth and higher individual earnings.

Smoov allows higher earning couples to still be transparent and equitable about sharing finances, while also keeping the autonomy they've grown accustomed to. Pooling all your money into one big pot, while it may seem convenient, eliminates this financial freedom and autonomy that individuals have grown accustomed to before their relationship, and can actually have a negative impact on the relationship. This same logic is true for couples who earn less money as well.

The reporter asked the researcher what happens if a couple ends up getting divorced...

"we haven't looked at the messy act of having to disentangle peoples finances at the time of divorce..."

Seems worth looking into. Not for nothing but keeping your accounts separate can be beneficial if the relationship goes south.

Ultimately, every couple is different and what works for one couple won't necessarily work for another. But with what we know about younger generations and their spending, saving and investing habits, there's a lot to be said about maintaining autonomy while also remaining committed to each other.

Just to reiterate, the key takeaway of the study is that couples who are transparent about their finances and who are making a consistent effort to communicate about money end up in happier and longer relationships. That is exactly the same line of thinking we subscribe to at Smoov. The only difference is that Smoov is an alternative to the existing solution of simply throwing everything into one pot.

Also for the time period before you're married, and before it might make sense to fully merge your finances, Smoov is a great alternative to manually tracking and splitting expenses.

We've said it before and we'll say it again, we are making it easier for couples to manage and split their expenses together.

Sign up for our beta here and don't forget to tell a friend to tell a friend.

Until next time - take it easy and keep it Smoov.


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