So you’re head over heels with each other and decided to move in together. You’re just great together, why spend time apart? To breakup-proof your relationship you need to set in advance some ground rules. No, I’m not talking about who’s turn is to do the dishes. But more important, thorny issues like how your personal finance will be like from now on.
Don’t be complacent about it. Opt for a smart, wise and insightful approach rather than a romantic, unfair and costly one. And don’t postpone it. The sooner things get clear, the better. Once it’s time to do the talk, be honest, calm and prepare to be completely honest about any debts or bad credit scores you might have.
An ideal settlement would be to keep your finances as they were; personal and discrete. But since you are living together, unavoidably there will be shared expenses; grocery shopping, utility bills and so on. Arrange a monthly percentage of your income for “House Expenses”.
How much is enough?
This is a tricky question. How much each of you will be contributing will depend on what you two deem fair (and hopefully you’ll agree on it!). Others contribute 50/50, others prefer a contribution that is analogous with one’s income. You decide what’s fair.
Accounts and other income
Make known any sources of income beside your salary. Any type of bonus one might get now and then. Pocket money your mum still gives you (no judging, nothing wrong about that!)
Evidently, if you have or plan to have a separate savings account, don’t keep it a secret. It is actually desirable to have each your own money and freedom to spend it without any accountability.
If there are any debts, mortgages and overcharged credit cards, own up. Full disclosure is mandatory if you want to avoid future misunderstandings. Act maturely and be honest not only for what you owe, but what your future expectations and dreams are money-wise.
If you eventually want to buy a beach house, and already are saving money for it, it should be brought up.
Once each party brought everything to the table, it’s time for the practical (and admittedly passion-killing) part. Draft your own “unmarried couple living together”, financial agreement and clarify what’ve you agreed on as clearly as possible.
That’s it, if you made it through, then your relationship is a strong one! Have you been in a relationship with nothing shared? Did it worked? What’s your views, let me hear it!