This striking percentage of couples regret combining their finances – especially the higher-earning partner

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Ever heard the joke, “My wife and I have a joint bank account. I deposit”?

For some people, setting up a joint bank account and otherwise combining their cash is part and parcel of getting married or even just moving in together.

MagnifyMoney, a subsidiary of Lending Tree surveyed 1,000 Americans about how they felt about merging finances with a spouse or partner.

They discovered that a solid 20% regret combining their finances with a spouse or partner. The remorse fell most often on the side of the partner who earned more – almost 29% of respondents who made more money than their partner regretted it. In addition, the higher-earning partners were nearly twice as likely to argue with their partner about money at least once a week.

That’s in striking comparison with partners who earn less: just 16% who learn less and 11% who earn around the same feel regret about linking their financial futures.

Spendy spouses

Nearly four in 10 surveyed were concerned that their spouse or partner spends too much. Which partner was the most concerned? The higher-earning partner.

This situation is imbalanced, as 58% of men said they earn more than their spouse or partner, while just 23% of women do.

You might want to check first

About to drop $700 from the joint account on a pair of Louboutins? You might want to make a call first. The vast majority of Americans, 78%, check with their partner or spouse before making a purchase over $500.

And while that’s no fun, it’s well worth doing: a 2017 MagnifyMoney survey found that 21% pointed to money as the cause of their divorce.

Unmarried couples also have joint accounts

A full 43% of those who love each other but choose to just shack up instead of exchanging vows share joint checking accounts, or at least keep some of their cash in a joint bank account with their partner.

An outside opinion: never merge your assets

Then comes a rogue opinion from outside the survey: “Shark Tank’s” Kevin Leary, who takes an opposite tack: “Never merge all of your assets into your significant other’s account,” he says in a video for CNBC. “Really bad idea.”

O’Leary’s idea when it comes to marriage and money is that each person has their own bank account, and then the joint account is meant funded just enough to cover just enough for living expenses and joint purchases. But O’Leary believes you should have your own account to build a credit score. “You need to maintain your own financial identity,” he says.