When you are wildly in love with someone, it seems like the next logical step is to move in together.
After all, it seems like a great idea: getting to experience the hidden quirks your partner brings to the table firsthand and see whether you can be compatible long-term.
But when is the right time to move in together?
Breaking a lease is a lot easier than getting a divorce, but can be just as painful—and could leave you emotionally and financially drained.
To help prevent the heartbreak, here are some questions to consider and help determine if you are ready:
1. Why Do You Want to Live Together?
Is moving in together the next step in your relationship, or is it something you feel pressured to do?
Do your lifestyles line up? Discuss before you move in about expectations:
- Who will be responsible for daily chores around the house?
- How do your lifestyle values line up, such as cleanliness, guests, noise, and bedtime? Do you agree or disagree when it comes to these things?
- If you have pets, evaluate whether or not your partner will accept them and potentially chip in for veterinary bills
2. What are Both of Your Financial Expectations?
It’s critically important to make sure you are on the same financial page as your partner before you move in together.
- Who will be in charge of paying the bills each month?
- Will you have a joint account together to pay for bills? Or both agree to pay for specific bills?
- If you do decide to have a joint account, will you discuss individual purchases with each other? One idea is to go over any potential purchases over $200 together, but less than $200 can go undiscussed
- Will you split expenses and bills down the middle, or base it on income percentage?
- Would you consider a joint credit card? If so, make sure there are parameters on spending to cut back on financial discord
3. Do Your Life Goals Line Up?
Have a date night together where you can go over your goals and dreams together. Each lists some of your desires for not only your relationship, but for your future such as:
- Health and fitness
If your goals line up, you can celebrate where you are in each other’s lives and toast towards the future you’ll build.
4. Do You Have a Backup Plan?
You don’t want to be financially dependent on your significant other, especially if your relationship does come to an end. Take steps to make sure that, if left suddenly single, you would have another path you can pursue.
- Always have a nest egg or savings fund saved up
- Keep your friends and family close, just in case you have to move in with them temporarily
- Know that whatever is to come in the future, it’s in your hands!
Rent is expensive no matter where you live, so be sure you want to live with your partner for love and relationship-building reasons, and not merely because it is convenient.
By answering these questions and creating a financial game-plan, you can decide if it’s time to take the next step with your partner or not.
I do think communication is the key for success in merging your life and finances. Talking about these things before moving in is key and documenting if you feel appropriate.
Don’t think your partner can read your mind.
Do talk about things regularly before they can escalate, and do seek advice from people who have successfully gone down this road. A thoughtful process will lead to a strong foundation for you to build your relationship on as you both go forward in leading your best life.
If you need help building a solid financial plan that aligns with your relationship, schedule a free call with us today.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
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