Joint bank accounts correlate with higher marital happiness among Americans
February 23rd, 2024, Kineree Shah

Joint bank accounts correlate with higher marital happiness among Americans

In a recent survey conducted by YouGov Surveys: Serviced, we explore the relationship between joint bank accounts and marital satisfaction among married couples.

According to the survey, a significant portion of married couples who share a joint bank account report a greater degree of happiness. Specifically, two in five Americans with joint bank accounts stated they were "extremely happy" in their marriage (39%), followed closely by a third who felt "very happy" (34%). Only a minor fraction expressed low levels of satisfaction, with 4% being "slightly happy" and a mere 2% saying they’re "not at all happy."

Contrastingly, among couples that don’t have joint accounts, marital happiness seems a lot more balanced across the board. Almost three in ten (28%) report being "extremely happy," and 30% feel "very happy" in their marriage. Notably, the percentages of those slightly or not at all happy increased to 9% and 5%, respectively.

The reasons married couples opt for a joint account are predominantly practical. Three quarters cite "ease of managing household expenses" as their primary motivation (76%). Other notable reasons include "transparency in financial matters" (49%) and "building savings together" (45%). Interestingly, only a small number looked to external advice, with 8% following a financial advisor's recommendation and 10% influenced by family or friends.

On the flip side, couples maintaining separate accounts pointed to "easier management of personal debts/expenses" (54%) as the top reason for their choice. The desire for "independence in financial matters" and "different spending habits" were also significant factors, cited by 33% and 35% of Americans, respectively.

Our data suggests a notable correlation between joint bank accounts and greater marital happiness. Couples with shared finances report greater satisfaction with their marriages, potentially due to the shared responsibility and transparency that joint accounts can foster. However, the decision to merge finances is deeply personal and influenced by various factors, including financial habits, independence, and advice from trusted sources.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on February 15-16, 2024, with a nationally representative sample of 1382 adults (aged 18+ years) in the US, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education, and region to be representative of all adults in the US (18 years or older) and reflect the latest American census population estimates.

Cover photo by Ketut Subiyanto