Moving in with a partner can be a daunting, yet extremely exciting time in your life. There are many positive changes that you will experience, for example, being able to spend more time with your favourite person or reducing your living expenses in comparison to living on your own. However, there will also be things that will take a bit of getting used to, such as experiencing your partners living habits for the first time and having to share a space when you might not want to. One of the most significant factors that encourages people to move in together is the financial benefits that can be gained from splitting bills and expenses – but it’s not all smooth sailing. What are some tips to help you budget effectively when moving in with a partner for the first time?
Work out your shared costs
The first step is to work out your shared costs, things like rent, council tax, broadband and utilities. These will be amongst the largest of your outgoings every month, so add all these up and divide to get your individual contributions. Once you understand how much you need to pay for shared bills, you can work out your disposable income individually minus any regular personal outgoings. Covering all shared costs at the budgeting stage will ensure that you avoid disagreements later down the line.
Get a joint account
It may seem like a big step, but with modern day digital banking services like Monzo and Starling – you can set up a joint account easily without the need for serious groundwork. It can be a good idea to use a joint account for shared bills, just so you can quickly understand your personal finances in your own bank accounts. Furthermore, sending your monthly contributions to a joint account will help to avoid any negative balances or missed payments, so long as you’ve accurately budgeted your shared bills.
Keep a spare pot
You will almost certainly face unexpected bills or need to pay for repairs and replacements when you move in together – so keeping a spare pot with some extra money from both partners can be a good way to help alleviate any stress caused by such circumstances. If you share a car, you never know when you might need to buy a new set of car tyres or cover a parking ticket. A spare pot will create a safety buffer to help you both should anything need paying out of the blue.
One thing that will quickly become apparent when you move in together is that neither of you will have much privacy anymore. That goes for things like eating, interests, habits and of course, money. Being open and transparent about money from the start can help to build strong foundations for a living arrangement and help to avoid any trust issues. Granted, you may want to keep some money aside for personal endeavours – but when it comes to shared bills or saving goals, transparency is always a good tactic.