A month ago, after the most excruciating rental search known to man, my boyfriend and I moved in together.
And then we began the process of sorting out our finances. The rent was going to come out of my account. The internet was set up to his, as were our toll payments. Each week, we’d buy groceries together and put petrol in the car, all the while fiddling with our banking app as we flicked money back and forth between us.
I’d owe him $20 for groceries. Then I’d end up at the petrol station filling up the car and asking him for money. He’d pay for the Internet and I’d grab the electricity bill. It was a nightmare to keep track of.
There was an obvious solution. We’d open a joint account, put in a designated chunk of our pay each month and use it to pay for all our joint expenses, all the while maintaining our own accounts to finance, well, whatever we damn well wanted.
Our pay goes in to our own accounts, then we transfer a portion of it over to cover our joint living expenses. Simple. Life admin, sorted. The lazy person’s solution to our financial needs.
I knew we’d made the right decision, but I knew there were plenty of people out there that would think the account was the ultimate betrayal to the sisterhood and a symbol of sacrificed independence.
When I told some of the women I work with that we know had an account in both of our names. They looked shocked. Confused, even. And I wasn’t surprised. Sarah-Jane Collins, our associate editor, looked as though the mere of thought of combined finances made her want to vomit in her mouth.
A man is not a financial plan, I was reminded. “But, feminism!” another colleague protested.