The benefits of joint and separable financial management of couples

W.F. van Raaij, G. Antonides, M. de Groot

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Financial management differs across households and this has various consequences for the financial outcomes and well-being of partners in households. A study has been performed on the financial management of couples, in households with or without children, in which data from both partners was collected on having joint and separate bank accounts, syncratic (joint) and autonomic (separate) financial management, the drivers of financial management, and the occurrence of financial problems. Based on the data, four financial management styles were distinguished: syncratic/joint, maledominant, female-dominant, and autonomic financial management styles. In the syncratic financial management style, partners have a joint bank account and take most financial decisions together. In the male/female-dominant decision styles, one partner (either husband or wife) takes the main decisions about how to spend from the joint bank account. In the autonomic money-management style, both partners have their own bank accounts, and can make their own decisions. As a conclusion, we find that both syncratic money management and having a joint instead of separate bank accounts correlate with fewer financial problems compared to male-dominant money management and having separate bank accounts. Working together as partners of a couple is beneficial for financial management and for avoiding financial problems.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherThink Forward Initiative
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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