By: Revanche

A secret about cohabitation

July 12, 2010

Within reason, I share quite a lot of my life here on this blog. That’s why I keep it anonymous – between the financial soul-baring and the occasional emoting, it’s somehow less embarrassing if people who know me don’t know me.

Still, there’s this thing I’ve been keeping this under my hat for some time. For lots of reasons.

I wasn’t sure it was the right decision. I hadn’t taken all the prudent, protective steps beforehand. I wasn’t sure that I was even ready to do this so if it blew up in my face, I kind of wanted to go hide in a corner and not talk about it.  But most importantly, because my family couldn’t know.  In a bigger way than they can’t know that I’ve been saving for their later years, or that it’s been an incredible struggle with my own health and happiness to provide for them.  More than all that guilt-related sort of stuff, they couldn’t know this because I can’t trust my sibling with this knowledge.

As you well know, my sibling is my polar opposite: where I’m responsible, he’s footloose and fancy-free. Where I’m cautious, he’s reckless, where I’m a saver, he’s a spender. Most importantly, when I’m on my own, I take care of business. When he doesn’t have someone to answer to, he’s destructive.  And my moving out had to be kept a secret for that reason.

But the other thing that I kept even more under my hat was that I moved in with PiC.

It felt like a cheat.

He refused to talk rent, he refused to talk bills, he refused to talk 50/50 anything. As far as he was concerned, it made the most sense for us to be living in the same place (literally, not just in the same city) at the same time, he was already paying a mortgage regardless of where I was or what I was doing, I needed time to get back on my feet and settled, and I already had too many expenses. Never no mind that the responsible thing to do was to talk out our expectations, household duties and I always always pay my way.  

It drove me nuts. But I had two weeks to find a place, my family’s expenses eat up at least 70% of my take home salary and that’s before I’d factored in personal living expenses. It was really hard to make any sort of functional budget including rent, food, insurance.  So, uncharacteristically, irresponsibly, I took a leap of faith and moved in with him.

Stay tuned….


My thanks …..

to VH of Funny About Money for hosting this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance, including my post The Niceness Effect.

Be sure to submit to next week’s Carnival hosted by Nerdwallet!

18 Responses to “A secret about cohabitation”

  1. Jenna says:

    Will be interesting to see how this progresses. I hope you keep us posted. Hope this helps you get back on your feet soon.

  2. Jersey Mom says:

    I think it’s very sweet & considerate of him to not accept rent. And I completely understand regarding keeping a blog anonymous. I feel more free to say what I want when people don’t know who I really am.

    Some people are a stickler for 50/50 but when two people come together (especially aft marriage), whatever income comes in becomes one (all under “household income”). There’s no more your money or my money; it becomes our money.

  3. I think this is beautiful. I did the same impulsive, half-thought-out thing as well. But mine was over a lease expiring, which is far less important.

    Let him help you. If you are truly partners, this will be a drop in the bucket long term.

  4. mOOm says:

    I had this figured out but still wonder what the letters PiC stand for 🙂 In my case I came in with 20 times the savings but in the last three years only about 1/3 the level of earnings as Snork Maiden. We’re not worried about the accounting at that level.

  5. eemusings says:


    I definitely wasn’t expecting that but I am very glad for both of you (!!)

  6. I’m glad. He sounds like a good man, and I know what a great woman you are already. Best wishes to you both!

  7. Ginger says:

    Sorry, what does PiC mean?

    Google has failed me.

  8. Kate says:

    I suspect it means “Partner in Crime”.

  9. I knew you guys moved in together…did not know the financial aspect but I personally think it’s great. This is really going to take a lot of stress off of your mind and you’ll be able to help your parents without strapping yourself. *hugs*

  10. Good luck! My now-husband and I meant to keep separate finances, but everything got mixed up early on. That was in 1977….so all is good.

  11. Airam says:

    I agree, let him help you and use this time as a little breather to help you get back on your feet. You more than deserve it.

  12. That is very nice of him! Hope it all works out well, take some time to yourself as well. You definitely deserve a bit of a break 🙂

  13. Serendipity says:

    How exciting! I kinda did the same thing four years ago with Rambo. It just felt right. I can’t wait to read the rest. 🙂

  14. Woot for cohabitating! That saved me a ton in college! My future husband and I cohabitated for 2 years before getting married and our finances were all mixed up. Thankfully, it worked out just fine since it all became “our” money anyway (which I guess was the reason we didn’t care much…). I say let him help out. He wants to and you need to lean on someone…it feels good to be helped a little, right?

  15. Kathleen says:

    Good luck w/the cohabitation! I moved across the country to be w/my b/f five years ago and he is now my fiance. It was a huge leap of faith that worked out in the end and I consider myself very lucky. Here’s to a happy ending for you too. 🙂

  16. Revanche says:

    Wow, I’m surprised by all the positive responses here, not a single cautionary tale? 🙂

    MooM, Ginger: Kate’s got it right, PiC is Partner in Crime.

  17. sometimes it is ok to let good people that love you help you out.

    I’m glad things are working out!

  18. Shevy says:

    Revanche, so happy for you. You really deserve someone who will be in your corner, even more than any financial help.

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