Money and shared-living arrangements
Moving in with your partner can be an exciting time in your relationship; however, there are a few financial considerations you should discuss beforehand.
Dealing with the financials prior to moving in will ensure that you both get the most of your money and avoid problems further down the track.
How will you split expenses?
Before you move in together it’s important to think about how you’d like to share the household expenses. It’s good to have a clear idea if you’d rather split everything down the middle, or pool your money to pay bills.
Have you thought about opening a joint bank account?
Setting up a joint bank account with your partner is a big commitment, but it can make it easier for couples living together, especially when there are shared expenses.
A joint bank account can:
- make it more simple to pay household expenses (e.g. bills, rent or home loan, and groceries)
- reduce bank fees (one account can be cheaper than two)
- help you keep track of your household spending.
You can choose to maintain some financial independence by keeping your savings and credit cards separate from your joint account.
Sharing financial responsibilities
If you’re moving in with your partner, you may want to consider getting both your names on:
- household bills (e.g. electricity, gas and water bills)
- the tenancy agreement or home loan agreement
- insurance policies (house and contents).
Having both of you names on a bill gives you joint responsibility for paying that expense. If your partner does not pay their portion of the rent or home loan, however, you may find yourself liable for their share as well.
Be especially careful when putting your name on a loan that only benefits your partner, because if something were to happen you could be left with the responsibility of paying off the remaining debt.
Bringing it all together
If you’ve been living together for a while and everything’s going smoothly, you could consider the benefits of bringing together your insurance policies and investments:
- Private health insurance can be cheaper on a joint plan.
- You might be eligible for a discount if you’re with the same insurer as your partner.
- If you consolidate your investments you may see better returns.
Before you embark on any major financial commitments as a couple, it’s a good idea to get some professional advice. This will enable you to take the emotion out of the process, and get a good understanding of what benefits you could realise if you bring your finances together.