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Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:09 pm
by Ppdyssy9153
Hi fellow Bogleheads! I know this topic is already out there, but I haven't a slightly different question.

My husband and I currently have two individual checking accounts. We would like to open up a joint account, into which all of our direct deposits will go. We then want to keep our individual accounts.

I currently have my personal checking at Bank of America. We would like to open up a joint account at BofA, as well as move my husband's personal account there as well. The problem is that, since we won't have any direct deposits into the individual account, and we won't be keeping the required minimum balances in these individual account to avoid the fees, we will be assessed monthly maintenance fees. I realize that we could split our direct deposits into the joint and individual accounts in order to avoid the fees, but we don't want to do that. I really would like to stay with Bank of America for convenience. The fees for each individual account would be $4.95 monthly.

Does anyone else have this 3 account setup and do you pay monthly fees? If you do, how do you justify the fees? Is it worth it for the convenience and should I chuck it up to a necessary evil? Or does anyone else have a bank that they like that doesn't charge fees for a similar 3 account setup?

Thanks!

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:17 pm
by bob60014
We use Chase Premier Plus with accounts combined average daily balance of over $15,000. No fees, no issues.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:18 pm
by radiowave
Is there a way you can split your paychecks to put the minimum $600 automatic deposit in the individual account and rest into the joint account? You should be able to transfer from individual accounts to the joint account if needed . . . . check with BoA on that.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:20 pm
by jebmke
We use USAA. No minimum balance. No fees. We only have a joint account but I am sure I could create individual accounts if I wanted to.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:20 pm
by radiowave
Note, if you have a Merrill Edge account linked to the BoA accounts that should count for the minimum, suggests you talk with your local branch to discussion options if you are interested in holding some funds in ME.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:21 pm
by RickBoglehead
Easy answer.

Pick a bank with no fees (Ally), or pay the fees.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:22 pm
by miamivice
It would be way easier just to use one account. Or is over your accounts to a credit union.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:29 pm
by quantAndHold
When we did it at BofA, we used a single joint account with sub accounts. All of the sub accounts counted as a single account as far as minimum balances and such were concerned. If you really want the accounts to be titled differently, and legally separated, this clearly won’t work. It’s really more of a notional separation than a legal one. We’re in California, and being a community property state, the idea of accounts that are truly separate wasn’t really a thing, so it worked for us. If you want to stay wih BofA, go into the branch and talk to the manager. They know what products they have, and are quite willing to sit down and talk.

Otherwise, there are plenty of banks and credit unions that have free checking that’s actually free for normal people.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:41 pm
by megabad
Ppdyssy9153 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:09 pm
Hi fellow Bogleheads! I know this topic is already out there, but I haven't a slightly different question.

My husband and I currently have two individual checking accounts. We would like to open up a joint account, into which all of our direct deposits will go. We then want to keep our individual accounts.

I currently have my personal checking at Bank of America. We would like to open up a joint account at BofA, as well as move my husband's personal account there as well. The problem is that, since we won't have any direct deposits into the individual account, and we won't be keeping the required minimum balances in these individual account to avoid the fees, we will be assessed monthly maintenance fees. I realize that we could split our direct deposits into the joint and individual accounts in order to avoid the fees, but we don't want to do that. I really would like to stay with Bank of America for convenience. The fees for each individual account would be $4.95 monthly.

Does anyone else have this 3 account setup and do you pay monthly fees? If you do, how do you justify the fees? Is it worth it for the convenience and should I chuck it up to a necessary evil? Or does anyone else have a bank that they like that doesn't charge fees for a similar 3 account setup?

Thanks!
What is the purpose of the individual accounts? Do you intend to transact on them often? If not, switch to a savings account and the minimums drop from 1500 down to 300 to avoid the fees. $1500 balance is about $37 bucks in interest lost per year, $300 would be maybe $7 at current interest rates. $7-37 per year isn't a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. Just the cost of doing business with an expensive monster mega bank.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:48 pm
by JGoneRiding
I have this 3 account set up. I fo NOT pay fees I refuse and they make me upset!

One thing would be will boa wave fees for aggregate balances ? (They use to) they also often wave fees if you have a credit card with them which would be the easiest (they have decent cards)

Chase where my husbands personal is (we both had wamu till it got dissolved he stayed I did not) will wave the fee if I deposit via ach $500 a month. I literally have it go in and then most come back out 2 days later.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:57 pm
by Ppdyssy9153
We could split the direct deposits among the accounts, but prefer not to do that. The individual accounts will be used for everyday stuff, like coffee runs, lunches out and personal items. We wouldn’t keep a large enough minimum daily balance to avoid the fees.

I know the money would be better spent elsewhere, but the fees would only amount to about $120 a year. I guess I can just chalk it up to a convenience fee or the cost of doing business with a big corporate bank. It just bugs me that a bank I’ve been a loyal customer of for many years, can’t work with me.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:35 pm
by J295
Fidelity— no fees. Free ATM. Etc.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:39 pm
by pkjr
J295 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:35 pm
Fidelity— no fees. Free ATM. Etc.
This ^ or Schwab / or local credit union

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:42 pm
by Tamarind
Switch to one of many banks that doesn't charge maintenance fees.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:06 pm
by donall
Why do all three accounts have to be at BOA?
Nowadays it is pretty easy to transfer money between banks

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:18 pm
by SevenBridgesRoad
Ppdyssy9153 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:57 pm
We could split the direct deposits among the accounts, but prefer not to do that. The individual accounts will be used for everyday stuff, like coffee runs, lunches out and personal items. We wouldn’t keep a large enough minimum daily balance to avoid the fees.

I know the money would be better spent elsewhere, but the fees would only amount to about $120 a year. I guess I can just chalk it up to a convenience fee or the cost of doing business with a big corporate bank. It just bugs me that a bank I’ve been a loyal customer of for many years, can’t work with me.
Why checking accounts for coffee runs, lunches out and personal items? Who write checks or uses debit card for that matter for coffee runs? Use credit cards (two separate individual cards if you like) and autopay entire balance(s) out of one checking account where paychecks are direct deposited. Easy. No fees. Earn miles or points.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:49 pm
by Ppdyssy9153
I do like the convenience of BofA. They’re located all over and I’ve had a good experience with them. I do tend to use my credit card for most purchases, but I’d prefer to keep checking, just so I’m not limited to 6 withdrawals per month.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:56 pm
by jebmke
We dumped Bof A over 8 years ago. Had multiple bad experiences with their record keeping and charging fees. Never looked back. I haven't been into a physical bank since the day we closed the account.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:13 pm
by leeks
So much easier to just have one checking account. Use cash or credit cards for each person's personal spending within whatever budget you agree on.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:15 pm
by bayview
jebmke wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:20 pm
We use USAA. No minimum balance. No fees. We only have a joint account but I am sure I could create individual accounts if I wanted to.
+1

We have individual and joint accounts at USAA. No fees on any of them, no minimum balance, no automatic deposits required.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:21 pm
by desiderium
Ppdyssy9153 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:49 pm
I do like the convenience of BofA. They’re located all over and I’ve had a good experience with them. I do tend to use my credit card for most purchases, but I’d prefer to keep checking, just so I’m not limited to 6 withdrawals per month.
Agree its nice to have everything in one B&M ecosystem. B of A works great for me. We keep set and forget Vanguard and schwab ETFs in ME, around 100k, so qualify for platinum rewards for CC bonus, 4 free no fee no atm fee accounts and a free safe deposit box. We have had a good experience overall for a number of years now. Branch is understaffed but can get what you need with an appointment and most everything can be done online anyway.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:42 am
by indexonlyplease
Ppdyssy9153 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:09 pm
Hi fellow Bogleheads! I know this topic is already out there, but I haven't a slightly different question.

My husband and I currently have two individual checking accounts. We would like to open up a joint account, into which all of our direct deposits will go. We then want to keep our individual accounts.

I currently have my personal checking at Bank of America. We would like to open up a joint account at BofA, as well as move my husband's personal account there as well. The problem is that, since we won't have any direct deposits into the individual account, and we won't be keeping the required minimum balances in these individual account to avoid the fees, we will be assessed monthly maintenance fees. I realize that we could split our direct deposits into the joint and individual accounts in order to avoid the fees, but we don't want to do that. I really would like to stay with Bank of America for convenience. The fees for each individual account would be $4.95 monthly.

Does anyone else have this 3 account setup and do you pay monthly fees? If you do, how do you justify the fees? Is it worth it for the convenience and should I chuck it up to a necessary evil? Or does anyone else have a bank that they like that doesn't charge fees for a similar 3 account setup?

Thanks!
Why would a married couple have individual accounts. Sounds like a trust issue with money. Also, why make something simple so difficult. Wife and I have joint accounts, one savings and one checking account at BOA with direct deposits no fees. Same with credit cards and investments. We manage and agree on all spending. Keeping it simple for 25 years has been great. Maybe you should have that discussion.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:35 pm
by Ppdyssy9153
I like the idea of individual accounts. I’m way more OCD and frugal about money than my husband, so I’d rather not see how much he spends on drive thru runs, personal care stuff, etc. He’ll have his budgeted money and can spend it how he wants, without me critiquing all the time.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:07 pm
by obgraham
We were long time BOA customers. Ran our business through there, too. Got all the perks of "personal banker" etc.

Once retired, and the cash flow amounts dropped, they lost interest in me and tacked on a bunch of fees. They have no loyalty to their customer, so I see no reason, OP, why you feel the need to remain loyal to them. For the last 10 years I have used online banks plus a small local B&M and things go a whole lot easier.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:03 am
by SevenBridgesRoad
Ppdyssy9153 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:49 pm
I do tend to use my credit card for most purchases, but I’d prefer to keep checking, just so I’m not limited to 6 withdrawals per month.
Can you explain how paying by credit card, checking, and six withdrawals per month are related? We may be talking about different things. Wife and I charge almost everything to our credit card(s), including Amazon and even PayPal payments go to CC. The credit card then is automatically paid full-balance once a month from our joint checking. So, keep checking. Keep credit card(s). No idea where the six withdrawal concern comes in.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:32 am
by basspond
Ppdyssy9153 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:09 pm
Does anyone else have this 3 account setup and do you pay monthly fees? If you do, how do you justify the fees? Is it worth it for the convenience and should I chuck it up to a necessary evil? Or does anyone else have a bank that they like that doesn't charge fees for a similar 3 account setup?

Thanks!
We do not have this setup, all our accounts are joint.

We do have a premier account with Chase with several sub accounts for school aged children. Opened a investment account which counts for the $15k minimum balance.

The evil is having an account to hide frivolous spending from each other’s eyes. Easier way is to have a budget and both agree to each other’s spending. Will create less OCD moments in your life.

Chase Premier but you would have access to see his spending. Unless you gave him full control and you would have the sub account.

Good luck and hope you can get on the same page with each other.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:08 am
by 22twain
Ppdyssy9153 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:09 pm
Or does anyone else have a bank that they like that doesn't charge fees for a similar 3 account setup?
We use TD Bank which has a $100 minimum balance for their "Convenience Checking" accounts. We have no problem with keeping our balances above that amount.

Re: Setting up Joint/Individual Accounts with Spouse

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:26 pm
by Ppdyssy9153
Thanks everyone! I gave up BofA and we opened up free accounts at another bank. Problem solved 😀