A few years ago I had a terrible shock: a bank statement arrived at my house with an extremely large number on it. According to this letter, I was filthy rich! I stared at the statement for a long time. Had I bought bitcoin in my sleep a decade ago? Had I cashed in that bitcoin when it was at its peak? Was I unwittingly skilled at finances?
You’ll be shocked to hear this, but the answer to all the above is no. The statement arrived because, well over a decade ago, I had a joint bank account with an ex who has a big corporate job, and they’d never got around to taking my name off it. (They very swiftly did when I texted them about it, however.)
I’m not sure why I had a joint bank account with that ex, and I’ve never shared a bank account with a partner since. Not even since getting married: my wife and I share everything, including shoes, but we have never officially merged our finances. My wife got a bit het up when I told her I was writing about this, so I should probably clarify that this is not because we don’t trust each other with our finances. We don’t gamble our money away on things like ferret bingo. It’s just because a joint bank account requires a lot of paperwork. And why bother with that paperwork when you can just transfer money to each other with an app?
Anyway, I wouldn’t have given all of this a second thought had I not seen a bunch of recent studies saying that the key to a happy marriage is a joint bank account and no separate accounts. That had me paranoid about my marriage for a second. And then I realised those poor people probably don’t understand apps. Nor do they understand the real key to happiness: reducing paperwork.
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