What does it mean when you and your partner take the leap and move in together? In addition to sharing a home, moving in together also marks the financial commitment you’re making to each other. In particular, you’ll find that much of your spending will move from personal expenses towards more shared expenses - ie. expenses you have together.
To help you prepare and win at love and money, here are 5 tips for couples moving in together:
Now that you and your partner are spending money together, building a budget will help you reduce overspending, avoid money arguments, and start planning for the future. You can start by tracking your monthly income and expenses with a budgeting app made just for couples, like Zeta, or use a spreadsheet.
After getting a feel for what your spending habits are together, set some shared budgets for different categories, like groceries or eating out. Check up on your budget every week or every month to gauge if it’s a good fit or needs adjustment. There’s honestly no better feeling than being on the same page about your money!
You’ve probably heard of the five love languages – but did you know that there are different money languages as well? Some people love to spend, others prioritize saving for emergencies, while some will fall somewhere in the middle. Knowing each of your money personalities can make talking about and managing your finances together less stressful.
If you've moved in together, you can consider splitting and managing shared expenses together using a joint credit card. Instead of opting for a joint account, using a joint credit card on the expenses you share, like groceries or date nights, allows you to reduce the back and forth Venmo requests!
Don’t forget that many credit card providers offer rewards programs that allow you to earn “points”. We’ve loved hearing stories of couples who’ve accumulated their shared points to later go on adventures together.
Moving in means you’ll likely be submitting applications to places to buy or rent together, so being aware of each other’s credit scores is helpful. Your credit scores will impact your ability to rent or purchase a home and the last thing you want is to be blind-sided by either of your scores.
It may seem scary to share such intimate information with your partner, but moving in together shifts this type of info firmly into the “need to know” column.
Want to make the “big conversation” a little less scary? Take your partner on a money date! Break out the candles, split a favorite meal, and get those financial truths flowing.
Fact: Unmarried couples can open a joint bank account. Opening a joint bank account is a big step, but it can make the transition from living alone to living as a couple smoother. With a joint account, bills such as water and electricity (and stuff like Netflix) can be paid out of one account rather than figuring out how to split each bill.
Keep in mind that a joint account doesn’t mean you suddenly need to combine all your finances. You can both have your individual accounts while also starting a shared one for bills and other expenses.
If you’re interested in opening a joint account with your partner, Zeta can help.
Nervous about merging your money? This guide will help you figure it all out.READ MORE
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