In the past, when asked about sharing finances with someone other than a romantic partner, our advice has boiled down to one word: don’t.
There are two main reasons we’ve tended toward this perspective. First, many of the specific questions we’ve gotten on this topic have been, um… ill-advised? Often they’ve come from young people with limited life experience asking how to most expeditiously derail their lives. (“Myself and my four best friends are juniors in college, and rent in our city is super expensive, so we want to buy a house together! We haven’t been roommates yet, but we’ve all been best friends since grade school and have never fought about anything. None of us have credit yet. Can we all just co-sign five separate loans for each other? Thanks in advance!”) We will continue to answer such questions with a gentle yet robust one-two slap.
Reason #2 we’ve historically cautioned against sharing finances with someone other than a romantic partner?
Times were different.
Sooooooo much has changed since we started this blog. Political unrest, widening inequality, spikes in unemployment, a global pandemic, war, inflation, a new recession… during all this turmoil and strife, I’ve found it clearer than ever that none of us can weather these changes alone. Total independence is a luxury few can afford anymore.
Our systems are designed to make it easy and safe to share money with only two categories of people: spouses and immediate family members. If you don’t have—or want—those traditional ties, it puts a lot of pressure on you to fully and independently support yourself. And if there was ever an era in which that was doable and sustainable, that era has officially passed us the hell by!
Which means we need to reevaluate our stance on sharing finances with someone other than a romantic partner. We need to do better to legitimize chosen families and normalize community support. So today I’m offering a high-level overview of some of the best ways for sharing finances with someone other than a romantic partner.Read More