Discussing Shared Expenses
Today, more and more couples are choosing to move in together before marriage and often, before combining their finances. And while it may seem like bliss is around the corner, shared expenses can be a rude wake up call. When deciding to co-habitate, couples should consider all of the shared expenses they're about to incur, including rent, utilities, groceries, and more.
Here are three tips to make that transition a little easier.
- Discuss shared expenses BEFORE moving in
You've worked together to determine where you're moving, but have you talked about bills? Before picking out paint colors and figuring out how to get that couch through the door, you and your significant other need to discuss who's paying for what. You may choose to divide everything 50/50. One person may make significantly more than the other, so you choose to divide things more 60/40. No matter how you decide to divide your shared expenses, make sure the two of you have a plan before you move in.
- Check in with each other one month in
Even the best laid plans can go awry. This is why it's crucial you check in with one another after your first month of sharing expenses. Are you both still living comfortably within your means? Or did one of you misjudge your budget? This is the time to assess and decide if you should continue with the original plan or update it to reflect the reality of living together.
- Maintain open communication
You've heard this before. All good relationships maintain open and honest communication. When it comes to your financial situation, this is especially good advice. Unexpected expenses - car trouble, ER visits - can quickly throw your monthly budget for a loop. As long as you and your significant other continue to be open with your financial situation, you'll be able to work through this unexpected expenses in the most efficient way possible.
Now, go pick out those paint swatches!