Having 1, 2 or 3 bank accounts?

I have a problem. I got into a fight with my wife and suddenly she said she wants to have a separate bank account in case I get mad and decide to close our bank account without her permission. We reconciled and everything seems fine but the questions still remains: How do we manage our finances in future, just to be on the safe side if someone wants to abandon the relationship.

We currently have one bank account at PostFinance that is opened with my name. My wife is authorized to pay in and out but theoretically I could still take all the money and run away. Apart from that my wife’s salary is going straight onto this account as well and someone from PostFinance told me today that this is illegal in Switzerland.

OK, so here are my questions.

  • Is it really illegal to have both salaries go to the same bank account?
  • Do you people have 2 accounts and pay for both? One for your spouse and one for you?
  • Who pays for which expenses?
  • Do you pay 50/50 for everything or do you pay more if you earn more?
  • Do you have a third account from which you pay your bills?

I just want to avoid the hassle to record every single expense we make, calculate 40% for my wife and 60% for me (like some web sites suggest) and then pay our bills. I mean it seems like you’d have to spend a lot of time for calculating everything up to the last rappen.

I strongly recommend you to have a joint account with both of your name on it as for legal and compliance matters. It’s not illegal, but you can have issue with the compliance of the bank and the tax officer who could asked himself if you are trying to not declare some income. I don’t think you will have problem, but you will have to explain your situation and faced administrative problem.

I plan to open a joint account with my girlfriend once she gets her job for simplicity. We will pay both 50% of our common expense as my money will be her money, and vice versa. But for now, she just transfered some money on my account in order to pay all our common bills.

Common expenses will be paid by both, and only strictly personnal expenses will be paid separated like: hairdresser, books, hobbys.

She will earned more than me for a while and then I will earnd more than her, however, we don’t mind about that as I see this like a whole income and not as a separated income. My money will be her money, and her money will be mine. We will invest both OUR money.

Here how I see our future: one joint account for common expenses (health insurance, rent, electricity, groceries, restaurant, etc.). And one private account (neon) for strictly personnal expenses (hairdresser, hobbys).

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What if she becomes pregnant though?

It would basically be a strictly personal expenditure for her, wouldn’t it?
(just like a haircut will only affect her body, and a hobby will only take her time)

You realise I hope that she could do the same.

In any case, we’ve from the beginning done it like this:

We both kept our own bank account, and opened an extra joint account.
Our salaries go to our own accounts, and from that we both automatically transfer a fixed amount every month to the joint account.
All common bills (rent, serafe, water, electricity, groceries, holidays) are paid from there.
Inflow is a bit larger than the average costs so we build a buffer for unexpected expenses.

Our income is comparable so its an equal amount, but if one would earn considerably more, it could be different.

This makes everything simple and with my ’ left over money’ I do whatever I want, and the same for her.

In case things have to be ’ untangled’ you can easily stop the monthly transfer and all to fight about is one month worth of living costs.

Me and my GF have 3 accounts in total. Everyone his seperate account with cards and everything and then a joint account for rent, food, household stuff, insurances etc.

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My partner and I have no joint account.
Joint Fix expenses (rent, Kita, Krankenkasse child) are paid by one and by standing order the other transfers half to the payer (amount is constant).
For joint variable expenses we use Splitwise (which doubles nicely to get our “budget” numbers).
Mini variable expenses are ignored.
Personal expenses are paid by each out of own money.
We’re both pretty satisfied with this solution, it’s simple enough IMO

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Didn’t you split up with your girlfriend?


We’re moving back together in 1.5 weeks :smiley:


The way we (family, 2 kids) do it is:

  1. One account for her, one account for me, one common account
  2. Salaries go to the common account
  3. General expenses and anything for the kids is paid from the common account
  4. Hobbies, gadgets, stuff that are really personal, clothes are paid from personal accounts
  5. At the end of the year (or more often) we split in 2 the remaining from the common account and send it to our personal accounts.

We feel that this way it is fair. She works less remunerated hours, but takes care of the kids more often, yet she has strictly the same money as me. We still have the possibility to spend our personal money the way we like, without any guilt.

EDIT: I think that it is very strange that her salary goes to an account under your name. I would feel threatened if I were her. It is absolutely trivial to have a common account under both names, just do it.


Since it will be our kid(s) I don’t consider such thing as a personal expenditure :wink: What I consider personal would be a hobby, a passion or a special threat that she or I want to have. For example, I am addicted to crossfit and I will pay my membership ant other sport things with my personal expenses. In the other hand she likes gardening ans spent her money on mew plant so she used her personal savings for that. However, I’ve never forbidden her to use my money to purchase something she wants :wink:

As an example, we used “my” money when we moved to our appartement (furniture, etc.) and I used “my” money for grocery but I’ve never considered this money as mine but as OUR :slight_smile: since we are living together. In my mind this is more OUR money than mine :slight_smile:

I got 6 bank accounts (without brokers) in my name and my wife own 4. Mainly in the different country we lived but I definitely need to consolidate some of them…
We are planning to open a new one for a joint account.

For now, I am paying rent and utilities since few years and we split grocery shopping or trips with 50/50 with Tricount App but it is getting tiring so we hope the joint account will make things easier.
From this year, she will contribute to rent and utilities on prorata of our income.

Family with 3 kids: Joint accounts. But actually, we just have “one pot” - I / we don’t consider money as “my” / “yours” - bigger expenses are discussed together, though… And as both of us contribute 100% to the family, it doesn’t matter if its money or time or whatever…fair and easy :slight_smile:


we use seperate bank accounts and the app splitwise… everything is split around 50:50…

works perfectly fine

Same here. We have a UBS Family package.

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Family of 3 with fulltime housewife, technically one account for everything with full control by both (however she never botherd to learn how to pay invoices). Plus she has a Revolut account for personal stuff (like gifts for me, money to her family, extra toys for kid etc.) where I send 550 CHF each month (which I account as cash expense).

Family (1 kid):
We use 1 joint account that we both automatically fund each month with the same amount based on a split we’ve agreed upon. It is used to pay all the fixed expenses (rent, groceries, common bills, creche, medical bills for the kid, etc).

For everything else we use our own private accounts. Even for the extra things we share in common like restaurant, new clothes for the kid, etc. Sometimes she pays, sometimes I do. No precise accounting on that. We just both pay attention that the situation remains mostly fair for each others.

Family with one kid: 1 joint account for the daily business, 1 joint tax-account, 2 joint wealth accounts with different banks for money-parking, trading account on my name (as it is not possible to have it joint with PF), 1 account for the junior

Has anyone a joint-trading account with a broker?

Here, Mainly I have 3 main accounts (some satellites, for taxes, home mortgage… )

Join account in Post finance (I will change since the new changes in fees 12 CHF a month is way too much) → both salaries go there
2 personal accounts → 1 for my wife and one for myself where I put 1000 chf each month (personal expenses including clothes,gadgets, travels, hobbies…)

I will go for a join account (any way as I understand the swiss law, you will need to divide 50/50 in case of divorce). My experience is that create some extra frictions due to the lack of transparency.

I have a join account in IB, quite easy to setup

We are doing exactly the same. It has always been on our mind to make a joint account, but I think we were too lazy to ever get one. Now a marriage and two kids later I don’t think we will ever have a joint account. Splitwise works well for tracking expenses

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