You’ve found someone whose company you really enjoy, and you think you’re ready for the next step. It’s exciting to consider moving in with your significant other. Moving in with someone certainly give your relationship a more committed feel, but there are more things that you need to think about than just the emotional aspects of cohabitation. Finances are one important aspect of your life that you don’t want to neglect, and being aware of what can happen financially once you move in together will help you make the best decision. There are many financial benefits to moving in together, but there are also some potential hidden costs, especially if the situation doesn’t work out in the long run. As unromantic as it is to think about the possibility that things might not end well, it’s necessary to weigh the advantages and hidden costs so you enter this new stage with your eyes wide open.
The most obvious economic advantage of living with anyone (including your significant other) is that you will have someone to split your bills with if both of you work. This means that you can potentially rent or buy a nicer space than you could on your own. You also could choose to save more money for your future together instead, if you find a place that you can afford on one income. Having two people to pay for the apartment or house, the utilities, and all the other necessary bills, will potentially make your financial situation a little easier. According to LearnVest, you can split all expenses 50/50, pay according to your salaries, have one partner pay for everything, or each pay specific bills.
Also, living together will reduce costs because you won’t have to drive to see each other as often. You also won’t be paying for two homes, and you may eat in more often than before, or avoid expensive activities that drew you together in a shared location previously, now that you have your own shared space.
Another financial positive of living with your significant other is the fact that you might improve your credit if your landlord reports your payments. According to Credit.com, paying your rent on time may help you to build your credit. Although you could also do this without living with someone, you may be able to pay your bills more often or on time more once you are splitting costs. You also might improve your credit score by being able to regularly pay your utilities, and hopefully, having more money freed up to pay down debt. Paying down debt will of course also free up more money.
You also may find that you save money by combining your belongings. If you were previously saving for a couch, but your girlfriend or boyfriend has one, you won’t need to purchase one if you move in together. You also can potentially sell doubles of different items if you only need one. This also means that you will save money over time by sharing instead of each purchasing your own items.
Another consideration is whether or not you could save money on other items, such as insurance, transportation, phone plans, rewards cards, and even banking (although opening a bank account together may cause more problems later if you split up). Some of your savings will depend on whether you become married, but there are many ways you can save without being married as well.
Unfortunately, many of the benefits of living with your partner also can turn into a hidden cost. If you purchase a house or sign a lease to rent a home, and then you decide down the line that you don’t want to live with your partner anymore, you could face serious financial costs. If you have to break your lease early, you will face fees. You also may find that you have to purchase new furniture and other items, in order to replace the ones you shared. Arguments over shared items can also arise. If your breakup is messy, your partner could harm your credit by refusing to pay their share. Or, if your partner simply moves out, you might be faced with bills that you can’t afford to pay. Lastly, there are potential legal fees that you might face if you and your partner can’t agree on the terms of your leaving your shared living space, or if you anger your landlord or mortgage lender.
It’s also possible that you may face additional costs if you have to find a temporary place to live. This could mean paying to stay in a hotel. Even once you do find a more permanent place to call home, you will then most likely face a security deposit, as well as a new set of bills. When you are already dealing with a breakup, in addition to the costs of moving and of potentially breaking a lease, it can be difficult to find the money to pay for a new home.
There are advantages and disadvantages to moving in with your significant other. While you shouldn’t base your decision solely on finances, considering the hidden costs, as well as the economic advantages, will help you make an informed decision. No one moves in with their partner hoping to break up, but sometimes relationships end. When people live together, the end of that relationship can be very messy. According to an article by Fox Business, if you are going to live together unmarried, it’s best to keep car titles in the name of the driver, keep your own accounts, keep student loans and credit cards to yourself, and decide ahead of time what will happen to your home if you split up.