Disclaimer: not a romantic topic!
Making plans to move in with your partner is an exciting time! There's lots to think about and discuss before you take the leap, but knowing where you both stand and what it will mean for you can help you make a life together.
Talk about it
As a couple, you may or may not be aligned on your financial goals, values or spending habits, and that's OK – there's no right or wrong!
43% of respondents in a recent Relationships Austalia survey had not discussed how their individual incomes would be shared before they made a commitment to their current or most recent partner.
It's a great idea to sit down and talk about your finances (the earlier, the better) so that you're both clear on where you stand. It's best to be open, honest and discuss everything – including your debts.
Aiming to be compatible and transparent with how you use, spend and save money may make things easier in the long run.
Setting goals together can not only help you create a long term plan but may also bring you closer as a couple as you work as a team!
You may have heard of SMART objectives (or goals) as a great way to stay on track. You can aim to set goals that are:
- specific – goals should be clear and precise,
- measurable – how will you know if you've achieved your goal,
- achievable – or attainable, not impossible to achieve,
- realistic – within reach or relevant to your life, and
- time-bound – set realistic time frames.
Every couple or family have their own way of working together financially. Only you can decide what structure works best for you. Some topics you may like to think about include:
- joint accounts and sharing finances vs keeping finances separate,
- considering who will pay for what,
- combination of the joined and separated finances,
- how you'll save money,
- who will manage the bills, and
- how to pay separate or shared debts.
And remember, it's nice to treat your partner the same way you'd like to be treated.
Household budgets are an effective way to keep track of your money and savings goals. Budgeting can seem tedious – so try to focus on the long term wins. Setting yourself up for success is worth making time for. Make it a date night - sit down, go through it all in detail together and most importantly, bring the snacks!