Five Money Rules for Moving in Together
So you’ve finally decided to move in with your partner — congratulations! But underneath that jovial mood is anxiety over what this cohabitation is going to entail. Living with roommates is always tricky, but living with your significant other can be simultaneously easy and complicated. What if their little habits annoy you? What if you can’t agree on how to decorate your space? And what about finances? One of the biggest obstacles when moving in together is the money factor, and, unfortunately, financial issues is one of the primary reasons couples break up. So whether you are a married or unmarried couple, figuring out how to handle money when you move in together is crucial. So here are five handy rules to help you and your loved one seamlessly navigate finances.
Communication is critical
Communication is the foundation for a successful, healthy relationship. So make sure to be open about your money matters with your partner. Money can be a difficult conversation to have with your significant other, but finances have to be discussed if you’re entering a long-term relationship. It’s best to have this conversation early on — before marriage.
Make sure to talk about how much money you both have, any debt, what your saving goals are, your credit score, if you are saving for retirement or investing, and your spending habits. Married couples or couples who marry later in life will have a substantial amount of money history, so it’s wise to be open about your financial matters.
Maintain financial independence
Twelve to 13 percent of individuals in relationships have a secret credit card or banking account, according to a Policygenius survey. You don’t always need a joint account in a relationship, but keeping secrets isn’t smart. Go ahead and have a separate bank account or credit card, just make sure you’re transparent with your partner about it. As previously mentioned above, communication is essential, so make sure you are open with your spouse about any level of financial freedom you want to have.
Seek professional help
Talking about money can get heated, so engaging in relationship counseling can be beneficial. Instead of arguing, bring in an unbiased third party to help sort out matters and provide outside assistance.
Any concerns about financial responsibility, how to split costs, and if prenuptial agreements should be considered can be worked out in couples’ therapy.
Decide how to divide expenses
Often both partners don’t make the same amount of money. In those cases, splitting costs 50/50 might not make sense. Decide how you are going to divide expenses so that one partner doesn’t feel taken advantage or stretched too thin. Both parties need to be comfortable so perhaps the higher earner pays more bills and covers the utilities while the lower earner does the majority of the housework.
Be smart on housing
When renting an apartment, make sure to have both of your names on the lease. A short-term lease (six months or less) is also a sensible idea, in case your relationship doesn’t work out.
Don’t consider buying a home together until you’re certain you’re in it for the long haul. And the same notion goes for acquiring loans. In the early stages of cohabitation, combining finances is not recommended, so make sure to keep things separate. You can always reach out to private money lenders in Texas on borrowing later on when you’re ready to own a home together.
Moving in together is a big step in your relationship. And while the overall excitement might push you to dive headfirst, take the time to test the water and see whether living together is the right fit.