Moving in together is no joke and there’s a lot that needs to be discussed before you take that big step. A lot can change when you live with someone, and this includes your financial dynamics as a couple. If you rush into it, this can be disastrous for your otherwise flourishing relationship. So take the time and make sure you’ve covered all of your bases. We’ve outlined some key conversations you and your partner need to have.
Let’s Talk About: Financial Dynamics And Moving In Together
It can happen so fast: first you’re just talking about moving in with each other, and the next thing you know you’ve signed a shared lease. The thought of living with the person you love is exciting and a little bit sexy, but it’s also really serious. This is the start of your shared life together, so you want to do it right. Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in the thrill without first discussing the gravity of this decision.
First Things First: Be Open
Before you take the next step, you and your partner need to put it all on the table. This means talking about your debt, income, current financial obligations, credit history, etc., if you haven’t already. Don’t hold back, make sure you share all of your ‘financial secrets’. This will help you to stay on the same page about what you can realistically afford and prevent and unnecessary arguments.
Get To Budgeting
Once you’ve shared all of your financial dirty laundry, you can start to create a budget. Start with nonnegotiables, like student loans, insurance, medical bills, etc. Then talk about your financial future, including goals and financial obligations. Don’t leave anything out, even if it seems small. After you’ve done this, you can start to craft a rough budget. From here, you’ll be able to determine how much you can afford to spend on a mortgage or rent.
The Little Things
When making a budget, there’s certain things that can easily go unnoticed. This includes moving costs, especially if one of you has to relocate. Make sure to account for amenities like HOA fees or pet deposits. Most importantly, make sure you leave some wiggle room in your budget. If you plan on spending all of your extra money on rent you’ll have nothing left over if there’s an emergency or you or your partner lose your job.
Understand Your Expenses
Create a clear plan for splitting your expenses and keep track of who pays for what. If one of you makes more than the other, it’s ok for them to take a little bit more of the burden. Just make sure that you both feel like you’re getting a fair deal to avoid resentment. Also craft a plan for who gets what in the unfortunate event that you split.