Traditionally, establishing a joint bank account with your spouse when you get married has been seen as a sign of trust. Conversely, drafting a prenuptial agreement with your betrothed has typically been viewed as a lack of confidence in the relationship. However, millennials are turning these long-standing notions on their head.

A new generation of newlyweds is bringing a fresh set of rules to the construct of marriage. In a previous article, we discussed the growing tendency of millennials—more than any other generation—to establish prenuptial agreements. In today’s post, we examine why millennial couples are increasingly opting for separate bank accounts.

  • Living together first: Millennials commonly cohabitate before tying the knot—and keeping a joint bank account during this phase is relatively uncommon. Therefore, when they transition into marriage, they’re already in the habit of keeping their finances separate.
  • Marrying later: Compared to previous generations, millennials tend to get married later on in life. They have advanced further in their careers, have achieved more financial success and are less willing to give up their financial independence when they settle down.
  • Equal control: Some millennials worry about slipping into outdated gender roles—where the husband controls the finances and the wife has little control over the money she contributes to the marriage. Having separate accounts eliminates the possibility of one spouse being put in a precarious financial position.
  • Defined contribution: Millennials report that by keeping their finances separate, each spouse feels their contribution to the relationship more concretely—which they find more satisfying than if every expenditure came out of one mixed pot.

Finances are a leading cause of argument in a marriage. Keeping separate bank accounts could be one way of avoiding unnecessary marital stress.