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Joint finances: Money advice when moving in with a new partner

joint finances:money advice when moving in with a new partner
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If a relationship’s going well and you decide to move in together, there are lots of areas to think about. In the excitement to organise all the fun parts, such as choosing where to live and decorating, finding time to discuss your joint finances could get forgotten about. It’s important that you think about how you’re going to combine your money, as leaving it too late could result in disagreements.

Talk and be open

There’s nothing worse in a relationship than secrets about money. When you meet someone new you don’t always talk about the state of your finances, but as you become more serious and start thinking about moving in together, it should become an important topic of conversation. You both need to be open about your financial situation, including what you earn, any savings and existing debts. This way you can start to make plans for the future and talk about what your goals are. Once you’re living together you shouldn’t stop talking. Keep an eye on how the finances are progressing and raise any potential issues early on, so they don’t become too serious.joint finances:money advice when moving in with a new partner

Joint finances

Just because you’re moving in together doesn’t mean that you have to combine all your finances. Before you do this you need to think carefully about what would happen if the relationship didn’t work out and how you would separate yourselves financially. There’s no need to just have a joint current account if neither of you is prepared to commit to this yet. Maybe a starting point would be to have one joint account that you both contribute to for the household bills and expenses. This allows you to keep separate accounts as well, so you can spend your disposable income as you see fit.

Before you live with someone you need to understand their attitude to money and what their priorities are. There’s no point moving in only to realise that they’re particularly frivolous with their money and there’s never any left at the end of the month. You both need to declare any current financial commitments, including credit payments, subscriptions or memberships. It might also be worthwhile to check on each other’s credit rating, especially if you’re considering buying a property together. This will allow you to see if there are any potential problems and could stop your credit score being affected.

Plan what you can afford

If you earn roughly the same then it should be pretty easy to work out what you both want to contribute to the joint finances. However, if there’s a considerable difference in salaries, then it’s even more important to work out what each of you is going to put in. It’s crucial that neither of you over commits yourself, as this will only lead to problems in the future. Financial pressures can put a big strain on a relationship, especially in the early days.

Look at all the different areas you’ll need to spend money on, including rent or mortgage payments, utility bills and other household expenses. If you’re looking for a new property together then you need to know the price range you should be searching in. It’s also a good idea to consider how you’d afford all these items if one of you lost your job or there was a large additional expense one month, such as a broken household appliance or the car broke down.joint finances:money advice when moving in with a new partner

You need to look at all the additional areas that each of you spends money on, including satellite television, gym memberships and nights out. If the other partner considers these to be essential, do you want to contribute to them or should they be paid for separately? Before you get too far into the process, it’s important to know exactly what each of you is prepared to compromise on.

Furnishing the property

Depending on where you’ve lived before, it might be necessary to buy a considerable amount of furniture and household appliances when you move in. If it’s possible, try and split individual items so it’s much easier to divide them up if the relationship ends. If something’s too expensive for one person to pay for, make a note of what each of you put into it. Nobody wants to think about separating, but being sensible at the beginning could save even more heartbreak and arguments in the end.

Discussing your finances shouldn’t take away the excitement of moving in with your partner. However, it’s not an area that should be overlooked either.

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About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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