Life changes. You might be setting up home with your partner. Or moving in with a bunch of housemates. Whatever your situation, you might want to think about – having a joint bank account. And you’ll be well on your way to encouraging domestic harmony between everyone.
In a shared house, expenses that you’re all responsible for, such as household bills, repairs, utilities and council tax, not to mention your rent or mortgage, can be much easier to manage when you have a joint current account. You can say goodbye to the hassle of working out who pays what bill and how much – as all bills get paid from the same joint account. And if you set up direct debits and standing orders, it could be even easier. All you have to do is work out how much money you each need to pay into that account to cover your bills each month.
Best of both worlds
But what if you’re worried about moving from having your own personal bank account to one that’s shared? Don’t be. It’s perfectly okay to simply keep the account you have already, and simply set up a standing order that pays in a set amount to the joint account each month.
This set-up can really give you the best of both worlds – you keep the privacy and simplicity of having your own personal account. At the same time, you enjoy the benefits of sharing bill payments through a joint account.
Of course there is one important point you need to consider when opening a joint bank account. That is to make sure the person you’re sharing the account with is someone you trust. You don’t want them running up an unplanned overdraft (which of course all parties will be liable for), or suddenly refusing to pay their share. And no one wants to be lumbered with the results of someone else’s bad money management. Because even though you’re sharing the account, you’re each personally responsible for it. In fact, the bank or building society must provide statements to all the joint account holders individually – unless you’ve all signed an agreement stating that you only want to receive one statement.
Work out which account is right for you
Totally trust the person you’re planning to share the account with? Then you’re good to go. There are of course some things to look out for when opening a bank account with someone else.
First of all, you’ll want to make sure your bank account is easy to access and use. So as well as offering 24-hour online banking, check that the bank has a local branch that’s open when it suits you. At the Halifax for example, every one of its UK branches opens on a Saturday – which is ideal if you’re generally too busy in the week to pop in branch.
And remember, some bank accounts give you more than others – so look out for a bank account that rewards you for being with them.