Mar. 26th, 2008

heron61: (Default)
A few weeks ago, [ profile] lupabitch made a (locked) post about household finances, where she mentioned that she and [ profile] teriel pooled their money. I know several other couples, communes, and long-term housemates who do the same thing. I've never done that and have no interest in ever doing that, and know other people who feel the same way. However, I have absolutely no idea which approach is more common or even what the relative percentages are. So, I'm interested in learning the relative percentages of my f-list.

The approach that Aaron and I worked out many years ago, and which [ profile] teaotter also very much prefers (I'm less clear on [ profile] amberite's preferences, but zie has no trouble with the current arrangement) is for each of us to split bills for rent, utilities, and food purchased at the grocery store for group consumption. All other purchases are handled individually with our own money. For example, if I buy a book, a snack, or go out to a restaurant, that's paid solely with my own money. In the event that someone has considerably less money, there are two options. For bills, the others simply loan the person the money until that person can pay them back, with the assumption that this will happen in no more than a year or so. Alternately, if someone wants to go out to dinner, a movie, or some entertainment and the other person or people don't have the money, then that person or people asking usually offer to pay for that person to go along as a gift and for the pleasure of their company. I've been doing this for the last 22 years, first with Aaron, then with Aaron and Daire, then with [ profile] teaotter, and now with [ profile] teaotter and [ profile] amberite, and it works out exceedingly well. This works especially well for [ profile] teaotter and I because the problem (from our PoV at least) is that pooled finances means that someone else is spending money that partially belongs to us, which can breed resentment.

The mainstream cultural standard was for shared finances, but given the impressive amount of sexism and inequality inherent in mainstream het-relationships, I ignored that idea when I first considered this idea. However, I also know a number of people who are part of collective households that are as non-standard as my own that use various methods of pooling expenses and so clearly the range of opinions and practices on this is quite large.

So, here's a poll. This is both for people involved in romantic relationships (both married and not) who live together, and for people who are not romantically involved, but who consider the people they live with to be important parts of their life who they consider to be close friends.
[Poll #1161014]

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