The 5 Money Conversations You Should Have Before Moving In With Your Partner
If you’re in a relationship, chances are you utter the words “What do you feel like eating?” a lot. It’s up there with the most frequent convo topics between couples, along with “Whaddya wanna do tonight?” and “Can I get away with wearing this top again without washing it?”
Unsurprisingly, there’s nothing to do with money on that list. Because, let’s face it — talking about finances just isn’t that exciting (or sexy). Unless, of course, it’s along the lines of “now that we’ve won the lotto, where should we go on our romantic getaway?”
Not only is discussing finances with your partner a bit of a snoozefest, it can also be rather awkward. But like going to the dentist or a job interview, it’s one of life’s uncomfortable necessities.
Of course, you shouldn’t hit someone with a “so, how much money you got?” on the first date. But when you see a future with your S.O, it’s important to talk coin — especially if you’re thinking of moving in together.
Research shows that money is the number one cause of stress in relationships, so it pays to be proactive. Getting these conversations out of the way will help to ensure you’re on the same page and avoid disagreements later down the track
So, if you’re thinking about shacking up with your better half, here are the five money conversations you should have before you sign the lease.
#1 Are you a spender or a saver?
There are two types of people in the world. Those who like to stash their money in the bank (or investments) and those who like to keep it where they can see it — on their feet, hanging in their wardrobe or on their face.
Of course, you can be both a spender and a saver. But most people will find that they lean towards one or the other. If you’re a penny-pincher but your partner’s idea of saving is a ‘two for the price of one’ pizza deal, it’s best to be aware to avoid surprises later on.
#2 What are your financial goals?
So, you know your partner dreams of becoming the 6th member of One Direction or a professional cheese-taster. But what are their financial aspirations? Do they value financial security and have plans to buy an investment property or would they prefer to spend their hard-earned cash on travelling the world?
Having this conversation now will help you determine how financially compatible you’ll be in the future.
#3 Do you have any debt?
Oof, now this is an awkward one. However, it also happens to be incredibly important! Of course, it’s your partner’s responsibility to pay off their debt and you shouldn’t get dragged into it. But how much debt your partner has (and how they’re going about paying it back) gives you important insight into their relationship with money.
It shouldn’t be a deal breaker if your partner has accrued some debt — it’s pretty common. But if they don’t have a repayment plan in place or are continuing to rack up debt mindlessly, it could be a red flag that they don’t take ownership of their life.
#4 Will we combine our bank accounts?
These days, it’s extremely common for couples to keep separate bank accounts until they tie the knot.
However, many people decide to create a joint account for combined household expenses once they move in together. That way, you still have your own money but it makes it easier to manage things like rent, bills and groceries.
It’s worth chatting to your partner about whether this is something they’re keen on doing.
#5 How will we pay our rent?
Once you’ve decided whether you’re going to set up a joint bank account, it’s time to figure out how it’s all going to work. Will you have a separate account for rent and your household expenses? Will one person manage the account while the other transfers in their share or will you both have access? Will you have a budget or use an app to keep track of everything?
Having a solid system in place will alleviate a lot of financial stress — so the only thing you’ll have to argue about is what to eat for dinner!
(Lead image: Friends/NBC)
Emma Norris is a Sydney-based freelance writer and the owner of copywriting business, Content in the City. When she’s not playing with words, she’s either doing pushups or stuffing her face with pizza. You can follow her on Instagram @emmajnorris92