Moving in together is a big step, and not one that you should take lightly.
When you move in with a roommate, you will probably live very separate lives. However, when you start living with a partner, things can be different. You might choose to live as if you are just two people sharing a property. But when you are in a relationship, it can make things more complicated, especially if you split up in the future. There are some important issues you need to think about when you live together. Before you find a home together, consider these important financial factors.
The Mortgage or Rent
The main financial consideration when you move in with a partner is the property itself. Whether one or both of you owns the home or you are renting, you have to discuss money. You might be buying the home together, with both your names on the mortgage and on the property’s title. You could also be signing a joint tenancy for which you will both be responsible. Before you move in together, you should familiarize yourself with your local laws. Find out what rights you have and how you will be protected if your relationship ends.
Aside from the mortgage or rent, your main financial concern is often bills. You have to pay for water, energy, TV and internet, among other things. Working out how to pay these can sometimes be more complicated than you think. You might choose to each be responsible for paying different bills. You could split them equally or proportionally, so the higher earner contributes more money. You could also decide to pay all the bills from one account and you could both put funds toward it. The main thing to remember is to make it fair so neither of you pays more than you should.
Other Household Expenses
There are many other household expenses you could have. For example, there’s food, toiletries, repairs and cleaning supplies. You might not decide to make any rules about some of these things. Perhaps you will just buy things when you need them and assume it will even out. You could take turns to pay for certain things, and both contribute toward larger purchases. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to discuss how things will work. Otherwise, one of you could end up paying for everything.
Should You Combine Your Finances?
When you move in together, you might think about whether to combine your finances. In some ways, it’s more simple if you get a joint bank account. All your expenses can be paid from one place without having to mess around with transfers. However, some people would prefer not to put all their money in one pot. It can complicate things if you split up and don’t feel it’s fair to divide your money 50/50. It’s an important discussion to have, so think carefully about whether you want to do it.
Don’t rush to move in together without considering these financial issues. If you don’t think about them, you might regret it later.