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Couples in the Boston area have declared their financial independence - from each other.
A new study by New Jersey-based TD Bank finds that 41 percent of couples in Greater Boston maintain a separate checking account in addition to a joint account for household expenses.
Couples use the joint account to pay for the monthly and mundane bills, from mortgages to groceries and heating. But when they want to splurge on themselves, for a spa treatment, a daily dose of the venti caramel macchiato at Starbucks, or for behind-homeplate seats at a Red Sox game, they dip into their individual accounts.
Elsewhere in the country most respondents said they kept separate checking accounts out of habit or because they felt they had earned that money. But 28 percent of Boston consumers said they maintained another account for personal spending as a slush fund or for emergencies, that compares to 20 percent nationwide.
In Boston, where the economy is driven by high-paying industries such as medicine, technology and the financial services, individuals have enjoyed spending at their discretion and that’s likely a hard habit to break after they get married, said Mark Crandall, the regional president of southern New England for TD Bank.