If you and your partner have finally decided to take the next step and move in together, you will need to prepare for a lot of things that you will deal with. Aside from spending more quality time with each other, you will have to deal with their habits on a daily basis.
It can be exciting and scary at the same time but living in together is a huge step – legally, emotionally and financially. You will get to share experiences, the highest and lowest points in life and even share expenses – though sharing expenses has it’s benefits, moving in together can sometimes change your financial habits for the worse.
Whether you just moved in together or just got married, money is one of the leading causes of arguments and disagreements between couples. It is important to get on the same page with your significant other and here are several mistakes you will need to avoid:
- Not having the same goal in mind or agreement. This doesn’t sound romantic but it can smoothen things out for you and your partner in the long run. A lot of people who get married nowadays get a prenuptial agreement or prenup. It’s a type of document that discusses how the assets and debts will be handled, should your relationship end. Having some sort of clarity on “what ifs” when things go sour later on can lessen the burden of financial and legal issues later on. Unmarried couples don’t have as much protection as married ones but it is still possible to opt for a simple estate plan or will, just in case you have no plans at all of getting married.
- Not creating a household budget or spending plan. With the majority of couples, one may be a saver and the other one is the spender. If you’re going to share household expenses such as utilities, grocery budget, insurance or mortgage payments, it may get quite tricky. Splitting costs equally may not be fair especially if the other is earning less or if it’s a single income household. When you’re in a relationship, all financial discussions and decisions should be shared. It doesn’t matter if only one person works or the other earns more than you. Both of you should discuss and decide as a couple how you will budget, how to pay off debt and how to save money.
- Not discussing financial matters on a regular basis. This is another topic that doesn’t sound sexy, but communicating regularly and being honest is the most effective way for you to improve your financial health and stay on track. It should be a stress-free discussion you can set on a weekly or monthly basis about following a budget plan, paying debts and even financial goals. It is important to put every detail about your finances on the table.
What if one partner only brings financial woes? They might want to hide this information from you. If you are this person, remember that holding back information from your significant other is tantamount to lying. Remember that your union is supposed to be a true partnership. If you always end up arguing with your partner when you discuss money matters, it may be best to seek help from a couples counselor. It can only get worse later on if you don’t tackle it together as a unit.
When you are 100% committed together as a couple, it can be a smart move to strategize, plan and organize as a team. You will definitely accomplish more together instead of going apart and doing your own thing.