Moving in with that special someone can bring out so many emotions. You are happy to take the next step, excited for the future, relieved that someone else is there to clean the bathroom and pay the bills.
Then there are the other feelings, the unsettling ones. The nerves set in and you begin to worry that your other half is about to see all of your imperfections. They get to see your moods, sleeping and eating habits and the one we love to hate the most – your money habits.
You start to think about how the other half moving in will effect your current spending and budgets. How do you split the contributions? How do you work out if you’ll be able to keep your magazine or Netflix subscriptions without being told “What a waste of money”?
The biggest relationship battle is “money talk”, a conversation you know you need to have that could go either way. I would always look at the positives first; two incomes, two brains, two sets of goals.
In the household, you will likely have one half that is doing a little better financially. It could be they have less debt, better control over their money or a higher income.
Rule of thumb – forget about that stuff. When you move in together, you are making a commitment to one another, therefore, a commitment to money as well. Your funds become our funds as an equal agreement.
A recent survey showed that some couples just aren’t ready to throw all their money into one pot, opting to make regular contributions to a joint account instead and keeping some of their own money on the side.
This can be a great way to manage yourselves if you are feeling apprehensive about pooling all of your hard earned cash together.
Sit yourselves down over a glass of wine and review the budget. Work out what you each make, what bills are coming in, how each of your pay cycles work and from there, begin to divide up the bills.
I’m a firm believer that if you are the breadwinner of the house, (try not to gloat) you should try to contribute a little bit more to the joint account to boost your emergency funds.
It is so easy to say “you earn more, you should pay more”, or “if I get the groceries, you pay the rent.” Try to keep it a level playing field and remember that if you are both making equal contributions to the household, that’s great, but if one of you can afford to pay more to save your other half living off two minute noodles, then help them out.
In the same way you are committed to loving one another, love your money too. Make sure you talk about it regularly and keep open dialogue. Whilst it’s easy to say “put it to bed” or “don’t let it put pressure on the relationship”, we all know there are bound to be a few bad days.
Highs and lows can effect the relationship the same way it can effect your bank account, but remember, by moving in together, you have each other to lean on, to bail one another out and to get your wealth growing for those future goals.