But what exactly does it mean? Having to share a credit card means you open an account with both your names on it. You get to have equal rights to use the card. At the same time, you get to be equally responsible for paying its balance.
Now that you know what it means, do you think you and your spouse should get one? Or will doing so create financial problems that can destroy your marriage?
The truth is, there are three types of couples. One couple will split everything in the middle – keeping their financial position and acting like roommates when dealing with their household budget. And then you have the couple who shares everything. They pool their resources and get every payment from that fund. The third couple is somewhere in between. They share household expenses but they also maintain their own accounts.
You can opt to be any one of these couples – but the important thing is, both you and your spouse should be on the same page with your choice. This is the best way for you to avoid future disagreements about your money – simply because you are both aware of your financial responsibilities.
This is why you need to carefully consider if you should get a joint credit card or not. But what do couples usually do? One article from USA Today revealed how one couple shared a credit card for some expenses – but maintained their own for personal spending purposes. As long as it is for the household, it is okay to share a credit card for that. After all, household expenses benefit the whole family. It does not make sense for only one person to shoulder the expense – or try to haggle back and forth as to who will spend on it.
Why having a joint credit card is a good idea
If you think about it, having a joint credit card can be a good idea. There are a couple of reasons why.
You cannot hide your expenses.
One survey revealed that successful couples never hide their money habits from each other. Well if you are using the same credit cards for purchases and both of you have access to the monthly statement. This will allow the both of you to see how each one uses the card. This transparency can do you good because the trust will be easier to build.
You will be forced to develop better spending habits.
Since you know that your spouse can see what you used the card on, you will be more conscious about how you will use the card. Every time you use that card, you will stop to think if using it for that expense will be fair to your spouse. Not only that, you will also be more inclined to talk to your spouse before making an expense. This will help strengthen your transparency and communication skills. As you do this repeatedly, you will soon realize that it has become a habit. A very good habit, if you think about it. You will be less likely to be impulsive when using your credit card – which is a really good trait to have.
You will both be responsible for paying it off.
This will make the both of you more responsible when making financial decisions. You know that you have to shoulder the bill for this credit card. It will be one of the household bills that you have to split. If your finances cannot afford it, you will not use it. Since both of your names are on the card, you will be careful in paying off the card so you will not ruin your credit score.
You can pull each other’s credit score up.
A joint credit card will force you to make better financial decisions about its use. This includes how you spend it and how you pay for it. If you do not want to have an issue with your spouse, you will try to be on your best behavior. You can watch out for each other to ensure that either one of you will make a credit mistake. This will eventually help you have better credit scores.
What does a sharing a card mean to your relationship?
As you can see, taking care of a joint credit card will involve the effort of the both of you. This seemingly simple detail in your finances can really teach you a lot of things about sharing financial responsibilities and being sensitive of your spouse.
But what exactly does it mean to your relationship? Surprisingly, sharing the responsibility of a card can lead to a lot of positive things to your marriage.
A means to develop trust and respect
First of all, the transparency that you will be subjected to is one way to develop trust and respect for each other. You need to trust that your spouse will make the right decision because you are expecting them to respect you enough to not want to ruin you because of their bad financial decisions. Accumulating a lot of debt can be catastrophic to both of your financial futures. Being sensitive to the effect of the joint credit card to each of your credit reputations will teach you to put each other over your spending impulses.
A way to strengthen communication
Probably the most important thing that you will develop when you share a credit card is strengthening your communication skills. If there is something that you want to buy and you are not sure that your spouse will be okay with it, you can tell them about it. After all, they will find out about the purchase eventually. Why not tell them about it before you make the purchase. This will help you get used to the idea of running by any financial decision with your spouse. According to a survey, financial issues are the most difficult to talk about. If you learn how to be comfortable when talking about your joint credit card, then you should be able to feel more at ease when discussing financial problems with your spouse.
A reason to develop the right financial habits
Finally, you will be forced to develop the right financial habits – specifically when it comes to the use of credit. There is nothing like knowing that someone can take a look at your expenses to keep you in line. And since this someone is a loved one, you will be more likely to avoid disappointing them. After all, you want your significant other to always see the best in you. As you make an effort to implement the right financial habits, it will soon be easier for you to do it. This will help you and your spouse avoid the common money problems that couples usually disagree on.
As you can see, there is more to having a joint credit card than you thought. If you and your spouse are selfless enough to consider each other’s welfare, then all of these benefits will be evident in your relationship. A credit card can bring you a lot of good – as long as you both have the right credit management skills. This purchasing tool will actually help strengthen your relationship – but that is entirely up to how you and your spouse will react to it.