Seven in 10 women think there is a societal pressure for women to become subordinate by taking their husband’s last name after getting married.
That’s not all — another element of marriage that makes women feel stifled is the joint bank account.
A study of 2,000 women who are married or cohabitating with a partner examined the financial practices and feelings that accompany sharing money with a significant other.
Sixty-four percent of those who have a joint bank account with their partner or spouse revealed they felt pressured into the decision.
Two-thirds of women whose partners are the primary breadwinners feel trapped, while 69 percent admitted they wouldn’t be able to maintain their current lifestyle without their significant other.
Seven in 10 women wish they had more power in their financial future and were more involved in monetary decisions with their partner.
Three in five respondents have a joint bank account with their significant other.
The survey, commissioned by Self and conducted by OnePoll, revealed 64 percent of all respondents wished they had their own money set aside just in case.
That number jumped among married women ‒ 66 percent regret not having a little safety net to fall back on while 53 percent of women cohabitating with a partner feel the same way.
While 71 percent percent of respondents think women should have a separate account from their partner, only 51 percent actually do.
Many women kept their money separate out of protection since 54 percent have their hidden account in the event of divorce.
Forty-five percent also have been planning ahead in the case of a financial or medical emergency. Nearly two in five like to keep things separate from their partner because they have their own expenses to take care of.
“While sharing finances can create a real sense of partnership, having your own money in a relationship is important because it gives you a level of control and options, you might not have otherwise,” said Self spokesperson and Accredited Financial Counselor Lauren Bringle Jackson. “Unfortunately, women are more likely to experience financial abuse within a relationship. Having savings means you have some control over your financial future and can choose to stay – or leave – as you see fit.”
In spite of the fact that half of the respondents have an account separate from their partners, 20 percent admitted their significant others are not aware they’re setting cash aside.
One in five (19 percent) married women have hidden accounts from their spouses and 28 percent of women cohabitating with a romantic partner have the same.
Forty-five percent felt that it was their money in the first place so they can do whatever they want with it, while 27 percent did not bring the money made prior to their marriage into the joint account.
“The best way to take control of your finances is to get involved, get informed and ask questions,” Jackson said. “Be aware of where the money goes in your relationship and talk to your partner about setting mutual financial goals. Ask questions about financial decisions and take a seat at the table when those decisions are being made.
“It’s your money and your life too, so you should have equal say in what happens to it.”
Reasons for separate accounts
- I like to have my own money: 50 percent
- Fear of divorce: 48 percent
- In case of a financial emergency: 45 percent
- In case of a medical emergency: 45 percent
- I have my own expenses: 39 percent