When I asked the women in our community to share their advice for younger women, a surprising number recommended that their younger sisters keep a separate bank account from their husbands.
Whether these women giving general advice or talking from personal experience is unclear… but, their advice was unwavering. Here are a few of their comments:
“Save money for yourself. It might seem selfish but (it will help) in the long run.”
“Have your own bank account. You never know when you will need it!”
“Never rely on someone else for money. Keep your accounts separate.”
Of course, as far as I can tell, none of these women is recommending keeping financial secrets from their partner. They are simply preaching financial independence. But, it’s still fascinating advice, given the traditional advice that we were given to “always share everything with our partners.”
On one level, I can totally appreciate the advice that many of my Sixty and Me sisters gave about keeping a separate bank account. In fact, I probably should have followed this advice myself.
However, I have to wonder whether too many of us – especially younger adults – are allowing financial independence to become financial infidelity.
Case and point is a study by creditcards.com, which claims that 23% of adults in relationships are hiding one or more bank accounts from their partner.
Since 31% of people who responded to the same survey said that “hiding credit cards or bank accounts is worse than cheating,” we can only imagine the stress that this kind of financial infidelity causes.
Of course, the major caveat here is that the study in question did not break out married couples vs. people in other types of relationships. I’m sure that more than a few people are secretive about their finances before they get married before declaring everything when they say “I do.” Still, it’s fascinating data, all the same!
So, all this brings me to my question for today. While many of us would agree with the idea that women should try to maintain at least some level of financial independence, would we recommend complete financial honesty to our younger sisters?
Speaking just for myself, it seems silly to trust someone with your life, but, not your financial situation. In fact, not having someone to talk to about money and brainstorm my financial future is one of the things that I miss most about not being in a relationship.
Maybe I’m just a romantic at heart… a fact that has burned me more than once!
In any case, I don’t pretend to have all the answers and I would love to get your opinion on this!
Do you think that couples should keep separate bank accounts? Why or why not? Is there ever an appropriate time to hide your financial situation from your partner? Why or why not? Let’s have a conversation!