Just because you’re moving in doesn’t mean that you suddenly have to tell each other everything. But signing a lease together does mean that you are a team and have to rely on each other to be financially responsible.
Once you sign contracts together and become joint owners of accounts, you and your significant other are bound in the eyes of the law. The utilities company won’t care if it was your partner’s job to pay the bill on time. If your name is on the account too, your credit is equally affected.
So, it’s essential that you come up with a game plan for how to stay on top of your finances. Make a household spending plan that includes only shared things for the household such as:
Decide who will pay which bills and how. (If you haven’t moved in yet, make a guess and adjust with real numbers once you have them.)
You also might discuss what an “even” split feels like. Sometimes it makes sense to split common expenses 50/50 or, if one person earns significantly more, it could be 60/40 or 70/30.
Do you expect the split to change in the future? Is the goal for one of you to go back to school, have a baby, or start a business? Talk openly about these long-term expectations to prevent misunderstandings down the road.
TAKE IT SLOW
Moving in with a partner is an exciting life event. Remember to take it slow — your credit and finances are your own. Don’t feel pressured to combine accounts, cosign on loans or share your personal financial information such as logins and passwords. Take your time and enjoy the next step in your relationship. We are cheering for you!
As always, we’ve got your back. — The On Your Own Team