Traditionally, the joint bank account has been a standard element of a marriage. Most couples from the Generation X and Baby Boomer generations opted to combine their finances after tying the knot. But millennials are shifting away from this trend – choosing instead to retain separate bank accounts after getting married.
Why do more millennial couples choose to have separate bank accounts? There are several reasons for this change:
Stage of life
The younger generation is getting married later in life than earlier generations once did. While it used to be common to get married in your 20s, many millennials are now waiting until their 30s or 40s before making this commitment. This means that each member of the couple is likely to have progressed more in their career – and have a higher net worth – by the time they decide to settle down.
Millennials also care more about equal gender roles in the marriage. While historically, the husband may have managed the household finances, millennial couples tend to want equal visibility and control over financial decision making.
Cohabitation before marriage
These days, there is less of a social stigma associated with living with your partner before getting married. Many millennials choose to cohabitate before committing to each other legally. It is uncommon for unmarried, cohabitating couples to have joint bank accounts. Therefore, in the transition to married life, these couples are less likely to combine bank accounts at that stage.
Millennials also reported feeling more satisfied in their relationship by maintaining separate bank accounts. This is due to the fact that each person’s contribution to the finances of the relationship was more defined. Choosing to treat your partner to dinner, for instance, felt more like a personal gift – rather than drawing from a shared pool of money.
Are millennials on to something?
Ultimately, the decision to combine bank accounts with your partner is a personal one. However, with finances being a leading cause of stress and discord in relationships, any step to alleviate such issues may be well founded.