How to manage a joint account?

Wondering how to manage your joint account? We give you all the solutions to manage it well.

Opening a joint account is an ideal solution for many couples. Indeed, it makes it easier to manage the budget by sharing income and expenses. But how to manage a joint account on a daily basis? Discover all the steps to ensure that the operation is a success and does not end in separation. What is a joint account? How does it open to the bank? How to manage it day to day? What precautions should be taken to avoid banking incidents? We tell you everything about the best way to manage your money as a couple (without arguments!).

What is a joint account?

A joint account is a bank account operating in the name of at least two holders, with or without family ties.

In general, it is married, PACS or cohabiting couples who open a joint account. The objective is then to share income and current expenses (rent, children’s schooling, insurance, etc.) more calmly. But, anyone can open a joint account with another person. No need to be in a relationship or to be from the same family for this. You just need to be of age.

Then, it is possible to open several types of joint accounts:

  • generally, it is a joint current account;
  • but it can also be a bank savings account;
  • a securities account;
  • or a term account.

Note that it is impossible to open certain joint accounts. Thus, regulated savings accounts (PEL, livret A, etc.) and equity savings plans can only be individual.

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You should also know that the joint account can include three entries:

  • “Sir/Madam or Sir/Madam” (the most common);
  • “Sir/Madam and Sir/Madam”;
  • or “Sir and/or Madam”.

In the first case, only a signature from one of the holders is sufficient to carry out current operations.

And in the second case, the signature of all holders is required to perform an operation.

Finally, the latest version is a hybrid formula allowing certain operations to be carried out with a single signature. Others, however, will require the agreement of both parties.

To know : generally, a joint account is opened in the name of two people. However, a group of several people can very well hold a joint account in a bank. There is no limit number unless the bank decides to set a ceiling.

How do you open a joint bank account?

The procedures for opening a joint account in a bank are similar to those for opening an individual current account.

Make an appointment with a bank advisor to open your account. For a joint account, all holders must be present. Everyone must bring an identity document and proof of residence.

Then, at the end of the meeting, you will each have to sign an account agreement. You can also choose to designate one of the holders as the sole person responsible for the banking prohibition. This option allows you to protect yourself in the event of a banking incident leading to a file with the Banque de France.

Finally, do not forget to indicate a common address to the bank so that it can send you postal mail relating to your joint account.

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To note : during your appointment, ask for the rates for joint account maintenance fees. The pricing applied must be indicated in the brochure on paper or online.

How to manage a joint account?

First, know that by opening a joint account, you have the right to use all the means of payment attached to the account and made available to you. Only the credit card remains nominative, mainly for security reasons.

On the other hand, your joint account must be registered at a single and same postal address to facilitate the sending of mail.

If you want to make a change, note that this is possible at any time. However, you will need to give at least two months notice before changes to your account agreement will take effect. In particular, this leaves time for your co-holder to contest the changes if he so wishes.

Note that in case of disagreement, your bank will initiate a procedure to close the joint account. We then speak of dissociation.

Management of the joint account: what is the best way to avoid arguments?

It is important to adopt the right reflexes to best manage your joint account. Indeed, money issues in a couple can sometimes be a source of quarrels.

From the start, work together to set the operating rules for the account. To help you do this, clearly answer these questions:

  • what will the joint account be used for? ;
  • what income are we going to pay on it? ;
  • what expenses will we pay with the joint account?

Regarding the payment of your salary, it is better to limit yourself to a percentage rather than splitting the expenses in half. Indeed, the one who earns less or more than the other will have the impression of being wronged. If you decide to pay your wages in full, then it is better to consider that the money earned represents a common pot.

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As for expenses, if your joint account is used to repay your mortgage and pay for family expenses, the easiest way is to have vital costs deducted from your joint account. Among them, common credit repayments, childcare and school fees, EDF bills, etc. In this way, you manage household expenses together. And everything related to leisure remains personal.

Tips : to list all the expenses for the month, use an Excel file or specialized software. Thus, you will realize the amounts actually spent in each expense item (shopping, leisure, clothing). This step is crucial because generally we tend to underestimate our expenses.

Then, react as if it were a standard budget by setting common objectives to achieve (work to be done on the house, purchase of new furniture, etc.). To manage to put money aside to carry out your projects in common, set up an automatic transfer to a booklet. Then consider the operation as a vital burden.

Finally, in any case, understand that communication plays a key role!

More information about the joint account:

  • How to close a joint account without the agreement of the spouse?
  • What happens to a joint account in the event of death?
  • Joint account separation: how to do it?
  • Can we have several joint accounts?
  • How to open a joint account while being banned from banking?

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