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Dave Says: How to Manage Joint Checking Accounts

by | Sep. 24, 2013

Finances

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Dear Dave,

I’m getting married soon, and we plan to open a joint checking account. Keeping a register accurately will be difficult because I travel two weeks out of every month. Do you have any suggestions for keeping track of things, or should we just rely on online access to the account?

Ed

Dear Ed,

I would set up a second checking account, one to which you both have access, that’s only for travel. Giving you both access allows you to track what you do and her to see what’s going on and act as your backup when it comes time to balance the register.

Here’s an example. A few years ago we were remodeling our home. My wife and I opened a separate checking account and put all of our remodeling money in there. It was easier to keep the money separate, but we both had access and were involved in the account. 

Understand, this wasn’t a “his” and “hers” arrangement. It was merely for the purposes of keeping our everyday activities separate from the remodeling budget. When you get married, the preacher proclaims you as one. That means throughout life and everything involved, including your finances! 

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeoverand EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

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