The benefits of joint and separate financial management of couples

W.F. van Raaij*, Gerrit Antonides, I.M. de Groot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Financial management differs across households with consequences for financial outcomes and well-being of partners in households. A large-sample study has been performed, investigating the relationship between financial management of households and the occurrence of financial problems. To our knowledge, this is the first study on this relationship. Data from both partners was collected on having joint and separate bank accounts, on financial decision making, on drivers of financial management, and on financial outcomes. Based on the data, four financial management styles were derived: syncratic/joint, male-dominant, female-dominant, and autonomous financial management. In the syncratic style, partners have a joint bank account and take most financial decisions together. In the male/female-dominant styles, one partner (husband or wife) takes the main financial decisions. In the autonomous style, both partners have their own bank accounts and make their own decisions. As a conclusion, we find that syncratic financial management and having a joint instead of a separate bank account correlates with fewer financial problems, as compared with male-dominant money management and having separate bank accounts. Deciding together as partners is beneficial for the quality of financial management and for avoiding financial problems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102313
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • 2100
  • 2950
  • 3020
  • 3900
  • Couple
  • Decision making
  • Financial management style
  • Financial problem
  • Household
  • Income pooling
  • Joint/separate decision making


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