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The key to marital bliss is a joint bank account? I don’t buy it | Money

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A A few years ago I had a terrible shock: a bank statement arrived at my house with an extremely high figure on it. According to this letter, I was very rich! I looked at the statement for a long time. Did I buy bitcoin in my sleep ten years ago? Did I cash out this bitcoin when it was at its peak? Was I unwittingly good at finances?

You will be shocked to hear this, but the answer to all of the above is no. The statement came because over a decade ago I had a joint bank account with an ex who held a senior position at a company, and they never got around to removing my name. (They did it very quickly when I texted them about it, though.)

I don’t know why I had a joint bank account with this ex, and I’ve never shared a bank account with a partner since. Not even since our marriage: my wife and I share everything, including shoes, but we never officially merged our finances. My wife got a little upset when I told her I was writing about this, so I should probably clarify that it’s not because we don’t trust each other with our finances. We don’t gamble our money on things like ferret bingo. This is simply because a joint bank account requires a lot of paperwork. And why bother with that paperwork when you can just transfer money to yourself with an app?

Anyway, I wouldn’t have thought about all of this if I hadn’t seen a bunch of recent studies saying that the key to a happy marriage is a joint bank account and not separate accounts. It made me paranoid about my marriage for a second. And then I realized those poor people probably don’t understand apps. They also don’t understand the real key to happiness: reducing paperwork.

Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist

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