If you plan on moving in with a significant other, you need to cover the right personal finance topics.   One of the most common reasons that couples decide to consolidate their living situations is to save money.  However, saving money is not always the best reason to move in together. If you’ve thoughtfully considered the prospect of moving in together, then you need to read and study this article to learn about the important financial conversation you must have with your significant other before you start sharing a home.

Below are six personal finance topics to discuss before moving in together

Schedule a Time to Talk about Personal Finance Topics

Personal finance topics aren’t something to bring up on a fun on a date or while one or both of you is stressed after a long day at work.  Instead, schedule a time when you know you’ll both be focused, calm, and alert. Come prepared to the conversation and get in the right mindset. Remind yourself that financial matters can get emotional but that you should try your best to keep emotions in check.

Disclose Information about Salary, Debt, and Personal Expenses

Some people already know how much their significant other makes, but other couples never discuss this important personal finance topic.  Now’s the time to be completely honest about your personal financial situations. Both of you should know how much the other makes and how much debt each person has. You should also make a list of all your individual regular expenses (cell phone, car payment, gym membership, etc.) and all the shared expenses you’ll gain when you move in together (cable, utilities, groceries, etc.) If one of you is in the process of repairing your credit, then that should be disclosed too.

How does your credit look?

personal finance topics

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This is one of those shaky personal finance topics.   Nevertheless, this is an extremely important piece of information to find out about your partner before moving in together.  One of the worst case scenarios is finding out that the person you are involved with has a mountain of debt tied to their name.  Don’t let this be you.  Now we are not saying this should be a topic of discussion on a first date, but you better know what you are getting into if you plan on combining finances.  Bad credit can affect everything from your ability to buy or lease things in the future.  If either you are suffering credit issues, consider hiring a credit repair company to help you get your credit back on track.

Set a Budget

One of the most crucial personal finance topics surrounds budgeting.  Moving in together without an established budget is a recipe for disaster. You may not know all your expenses until you start your new life, but you can make estimates about many things, including cable and utilities. You should also create a budget for entertainment, including the money you spend together on date nights and the money you spend individually with friends. A budget can save you from disagreements and debt.

Discuss what each of your financial goals are

Just like two heads are better than one, so are 2 incomes.  More money means more opportunity to pursue the financial goals you each have.  In order to make those goals a reality, you need to share with one another what those goals are.  This way, you can both be focused on those goals together.  The last thing you want is to be saving for that big vacation and your partner is out shopping every weekend.  Not a good combination.  If you come together and you don’t have any specific financial goals in mind, this is a great time to brainstorm together what those would look like for each of you.

Have a plan in place should things not work out

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No one wants to think their relationship is headed for break up, but you have to be realistic.  If your relationship does come to an end and you have not discussed how you will divide things or who will move out of your place, you could wind up in a very messy situation.  There are also laws with regards to unmarried couples living together and you should become familiar with them.

Here are some ideas of what you need to have planned out:

  • Who will stay/who will move out — If neither of you wants to stay or can afford to stay, what is the next move?  Will you both move out or perhaps you will get a roommate.  If you do move out, chances are you will still be locked in a lease.  How will you split up those fees?
  • How will you handle the security deposit —  Typically when you rent, you have to provide a security deposit.  Assuming you split the deposit, you need to figure out how to return the moneys to the one moving out.  Will you just pay out of your pocket or wait to get the money back when the lease ends.
  • How will you divide up your stuff— Figure out early on how you will divide up your possessions.  Save yourself the headache of potential disputes when tensions may already be high.

Discussing the right personal finance topics is key

It’s commonly known that most couples fight and even divorce over money, but you don’t have to be one of those couples. Don’t sabotage your relationship over financial disagreements and hardships, which can all be prevented.  Moving in with someone is a big step and you need to be prepared by having the tough conversations.  These personal finance talks will ensure that you and your partner are both on the same page about where you see your financial journey going.