Hey friends! Today’s post is different in that it is a guest post from a reader, Lyle Solomon, who loves personal finance. He is an attorney by trade and a personal finance enthusiast. I hope you will enjoy the post on financial topics partners need to discuss, and as always, have a great day!Olaf, the Mile High Finance Guy
5 Financial Topics To Discuss Before Moving In With Your Partner
In every relationship, moving in together is a huge and exciting step, and it demonstrates your relationship’s seriousness and represents a significant adjustment for both of you. Although dating allows you to get to know someone well, nothing beats living with someone.
Before moving in together, having a heart-to-heart about your spending habits with your significant partner can be crucial to getting your life together. Why? Because regardless of marital status, money can be a substantial source of contention. However, you can avoid many possible arguments later by having critical financial conversations before moving in together using these financial topics.
1 – Discuss How Are The Expenses Going To Be Split
The first question any couple considering moving in together should ask is how much they can afford to pay in rent, utilities, insurance, and other shared necessary costs.
It is important to note that contributing the same amount may not make sense. It’s not fair to expect your partner to pay more than they can, and it’s not fair to expect you to relocate somewhere you don’t want to live.
Therefore, a good solution is to divide things proportionally rather than in the middle. If one individual earns more, they can contribute more to the expenses, keeping resentment at bay while keeping both partners financially healthy.
2 – Make Sure You’re On The Same Page In Terms Of Financial Goals
One advantage of having a serious relationship is having two paychecks, which means you have more money to pursue your goals (i.e., retiring early or chasing financial independence). However, this will only be beneficial if you are both focused on the same goals.
If you save for a down payment on a property while your partner spends every dime they make, it may lead to bitterness in your relationship.
To ensure you’re both on the same page, discuss your financial goals, such as saving for a home or paying off debt. If neither of you has plans yet, now would be a wonderful moment to set them together.
3 – Figure Out Ways To Be More Financially Transparent
Financial unfaithfulness can negatively influence your relationship. Examples of such behaviors include concealing entire transactions to simply rounding down costs.
Before you combine finances, discuss your expectations for transparency with your partner and find common ground. What portion of your spending should be entirely discretionary, and what portion should you save for common goals or expenses?
In my opinion, the greater the transparency, the better. If you believe your partner is too embarrassed to discuss, start the conversation by disclosing your tendencies; this will be more inviting than demanding to your partner.
4 – Talk About Starting A Joint Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is a sum of money to cover unexpected events (and yes, You Need An Emergency Fund Despite Inflation). Financial emergencies may include job loss, medical, dental emergency, unexpected home repairs, etc. There may be alternative options for getting cash quickly, such as borrowing, but at what cost? Interest, fees, and penalties are a few disadvantages.
Many people have varying opinions on what constitutes an appropriate emergency fund. Still, a minimum of 3 months of necessary expenses is a good starting place, and remember: everyone’s comfortability level is different. What works for one couple may not work for another. Being financially educated, you must ignore financial myths and rely on helpful reviews and advice.
Both spouses should contribute proportionally to grow your shared emergency fund.
It should be no surprise that when life throws an emergency at you, it affects your financial well-being and produces stress. Being prepared with an emergency fund gives you and your partner the confidence to deal with any unforeseen events in life without adding financial worries to your list.
5 – Keep The Conversation Going
Sitting down to talk about money before moving in together is beneficial, but it will not suffice in the long run. Even after you’ve successfully rented a property, set up utilities, and paid your first couple of bills, you’ll need to keep communicating about your finances.
Make sure to keep the conversation going and possibly discuss your finances once every few months. These check-ins allow you to assess how well you and your partner are reaching your financial goals.
The Bottom Line
Even if you’ve been dating for some time and are seemingly always in the same apartment, renting and spending money as a couple is different. Talking about money isn’t always enjoyable or straightforward, but if you want to avoid future problems, go through this checklist on financial topics to discuss debts, budgets, and financial objectives before moving.
You must understand your thoughts and feelings so you can assess them. Knowing the answers can also make you feel more confident in your relationship. It means you must find common ground so that money does not divide you.
Today’s article on financial topics marks my first guest post in a series to come! I hope you enjoyed it and please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. But, without further ado, let me introduce today’s author!
About The Author: Lyle Solomon has extensive legal experience and in-depth knowledge/experience in consumer finance and writing. He has been a member of the California State Bar since 2003. He graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, in 1998 and currently works for the Oak View Law Group in California as a Principal Attorney. He has written about personal finance on notable sites, including VentureBeat and Money.com.
Mile High Finance Guy
finance demystified, one mountain at a time