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Success F inan ce MONEY, HONEY! You’ve found the one. The person who makes all your dreams comes true and you’re ready to share your world with them. SLOW DOWN! Sharing is great, but financial freedom is better. Here are the top reasons to keep bank accounts separate. TEXT BY ROS PRADO MONEY MAKERS Moving in or tying the knot is great, but losing yourself in the process is not so much fun. Maintaining autonomy is incredibly important for a healthy relationship. Keeping separate accounts allows partners to maintain independence, privacy and still gives them a chance to contribute to expenses. Sharing expenses is great, but having to ask for permission to spend your own hard-earned cash usually doesn’t yield a happy ending. 38 SURPRISE, BABY Privacy is important. Not so that you can deceive your partner, but simply because some things are better kept to ourselves. Picture this: Your anniversary is approaching and you really want to get your significant other that really expensive gift they’ve been talking about for months. Here’s the problem — you share bank accounts and if too many zeros go missing, the surprise is ruined. And the freedom to be able to shower your partner with random gifts is priceless. POCKET PEACE It’s really uncommon to find a partner who shares all of our habits. More than likely, one half of a couple is a shopaholic and the other one is fabulously frugal — opposites definitely attract. And if everyone’s money is being kept (and spent!) together, this will inevitably lead to arguments, and we all know finances is atop most couples’ gripes. Giving each person the right to handle their finances is a smart way to maintain priceless harmony in just about any household. HAPPY ENDING It’s sad to think that your relationship could ever come to an end, but the reality is that it can. Either by divorce, death or mysterious disappearance, relationships end all the time and the emotional mess they leave behind is big enough to deal with without having to throw a financial mess into the process. Handling your finances independently from the get-go will save you tons of stress if you find yourself flying solo with or without advanced notice.