Money & Relationships: Moving in Together
So you’re thinking about moving in with your partner? CONGRATULATIONS! What a fun time of life. There are so many things that are really great about moving in together. But living with someone new can be hard when you’re navigating sharing some or all of your finances.
This article is the first in a series about money and relationships.
Money can be contentious and can be a source of conflict for many. To make it as easy as possible on you and to help you avoid some of the pitfalls, I want to give you some tips and ideas about how to make moving in together a breeze from a money perspective.
There are a number of approaches you can take when it comes to sharing finances. You can split all the costs evenly and go 50:50 on everything. This works well when both parties earn similarly. Another option would be to pro rata your expenses based on your earnings. For example, if one of you makes 2k net a month and the other makes 4k net per month. The first person could pay 1/3 of the joint expenses and the second could pay 2/3 of the joint expenses. Lastly you could divide and conquer by assigning the responsibilities for different bills to each of you. I will say at this point, that if one person is paying more or paying all of the joint costs that doesn’t give them more rights or decision making around the house. If you are living together decisions should be joint, regardless of who is paying.
The second thing to consider is whether or not to open a joint account for joint costs or to continue to operate completely separately.
The MOST important thing to do –
The single most important thing you should do with your money before you move in together is to TALK about your money. There are some absolutely key topics I suggest you talk about. Remember that everyone has had different upbringings and different exposure to money. It is important to talk explicitly about roles and responsibilities. Do not make assumptions about who is doing what and what everyone’s roles is. Talk about them. Out loud. You should also discuss your attitudes to debt, money and savings. You don’t have to agree on everything but you do need to know where one another is coming from. Lastly, I suggest discussing the future and your goals, so you can make sure you are both moving in the same direction.
Make sure to consider all the costs of moving in together. Factor in the one off costs of moving such as furniture, a deposit and the movers fee. Account for regular costs like rent, bills and food. Don’t forget about those pesky quarterly or annual bills we all tend to forget about. Talk about how you will approach paying for outing together, travel and birthday’s and Christmas presents for friends and families.