Opening a joint bank account with a partner or family member can be a great way to collaborate when it comes to spending and saving, but it also requires a lot of trust and open communication. Below, we outline the pros and cons of a joint account.

The Pros

  • A joint bank account can be used to cover shared expenses, like rent or mortgage, car payments, and other monthly bills.
  • If you’re opening up an account with a child, it’s a great way to monitor their spending habits and help them learn to budget.
  • Opening an account with an aging parent or family member allows you to easily help them manage their finances and access their account in case of an emergency.
  • Joint bank accounts are a great way to build savings together, with both parties contributing towards a shared goal.

The Cons

  • Since both parties have access to the account neither can control spending which means someone could drain the account.
  • If one of the account holders has debt issues, creditors can go after money in the joint account.
  • Overdraft fees are the responsibility of both account holders, not just the one who overdraws. 
  • Many financial apps can’t be used with joint accounts due to regulations (Brigit isn’t one—you can sign up with a joint bank account).
  • Both parties can see all of the transactions made with a joint account, which means you won’t be able to hide the charge for those birthday concert tickets or surprise vacations.

If you’re thinking about opening a joint account, have an honest financial conversation with your partner. Make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to how the account will be used to cover shared expenses. Many couples keep separate accounts for personal expenses along with having a joint account.