20 Nov Moving in with your partner: How to handle your finances
Moving in with your partner is an exciting time for all couples. You are ready for the next chapter in your lives together and everything that entails, but you need to think carefully about how you’re going to handle your finances as a couple. Without effective communication and systems in place, money can complicate and cause tension within a relationship. For good measure, let me say that again: communication is key.
So, with that in mind, here are our tips for handling your finances when moving in with your partner.
While all of the following topics should be discussed with your partner, a conversation about splitting expenses is important before you move in together to ensure you are on the same page from the beginning. Rent, electricity, and internet bills, as well as everyday expenses such as groceries, can quickly add up for a couple living together. So whether you opt to split everything 50/50, or a percentage based on wage (if there is a big discrepancy), it’s entirely up to you as a couple to agree and respect the decision. Talking about money can be hard, but the more open you are, the easier it is, and the more you will grow together as a couple. Win, win!
Leases, and expense accounts
When moving in together, make sure either both names are on the lease and any bills such as electricity, water, internet, etc. If you are only allowed one name or would prefer to keep them seperate, make sure it’s evenly split between you. This ensures that should anything go awry, one person isn’t accountable for every bill.
Joint bank accounts
Opening a joint bank account can make things a lot simpler, as long as you stick to the rules. Having an account set up which you can both put in for rent, bills and everyday living expenses is a great way to stay on top of finances and even save money together as a couple. It is always a good idea, however, to keep your money and individual savings seperate and nominate a specific amount for you both to contribute to a joint account. Be sure not to have all your pay redirected, you will only run into trouble.
Something to note if opting to open a joint bank account is eating out and non-regular expenses as these can eat into your finances. Make sure you openly discuss what and how much money you can spend per week. That way, when rent or that water bill pops up, you know you will have enough in the account. It takes management and planning to ensure your joint accounts stay on track.
Understand what you are both individually responsible for
While a joint bank account is an excellent tool for paying bills, buying food and generally managing money while living with your significant other; there are certain things which are typically paid for individually (unless you discuss and agree otherwise). Items such as haircuts, makeup, video games, clothes, are generally bought based on individual habits, hobbies and own savings goals. This also includes any previous credit card or other debts, and even socialising with separate friends.
Set financial goals as a couple
Having financial goals within your relationship is a great feeling. Working together to save for a holiday, a car or a house is a solid move not just for you both financially, but for your relationship. By setting these goals, no matter how small, you are actively communicating what you want from your financial future and learning to manage money effectively together.
Combining finances, while sometimes a hard topic of conversation, should be an exciting time for you as a couple. You have the chance to communicate on tough decisions, develop financial and life goals together, and enjoy the everyday bliss of living with your significant other. So when you and your partner have been together for a while and decide to take the next step and co-habitate, go in with open eyes, open communication and develop good financial goals together.
If you would like to discuss your financial goals, no matter the situation or complexity, talk to your team at Conrad Carlile. As experts in all areas of accounting, taxation and business advice, we pride ourselves on customer service and helping our clients meet their financial goals. Contact us today on (07) 3871 1522, or complete the online contact form and we will be in touch to discuss your individual requirements.