So, you and your partner have decided to move in together, a significant milestone in any relationship! You might be apprehensive or perhaps jumping up and down in excitement. Whichever way you might be feeling, thinking things through and considering the important factors of living with your partner will help you tackle this process.
You and your significant other should discuss your responsibilities in your new shared space as well as finances, a huge factor in any relationship. Your future goals, both joint and individual, are at play here as well.
Living with each other is just the start of a new part of your relationship, so read on to learn more about how to prepare to move in together.
Are You Both Ready?
You’ve probably already talked about this with your partner, but it’s smart to consider the question again. Moving in together, and therefore living with each other is no small step and should not be taken lightly. Sharing the same space can be a challenge as you learn the smallest details about each other.
Additionally, the transition to seeing each other all the time is likely going to be a big change as well, which will make individual time even more important. The smallest habits and tiniest quirks that seem cute at first may be a whole different situation once you start living together!
While knowing if you’re ready isn’t always the easiest, you’re already ahead if you and your partner have a good history of resolving conflict and maintaining respectful and open communication. Having a healthy relationship only sets you up for success later down the road when tacking new goals and challenges such as moving in with one another.
Finances are one of the most important moving pieces to combining lives, so you and your partner will want to take a close look at each other’s spending habits and financial goals.
You likely already have an idea of how the other spends money, but with cohabitating, you’ll be sharing a variety of different living expenses.
You will both need to explore what works for your relationship, as there are several different ways to combine finances. You can split expenses down the middle, take turns, or designate specific bills to each person, or anything in between! In the end, your financial situation will be unique to your relationship so it’ll be up to you to find out what works best.
Looking into the potential future, you and your significant other will want to ponder the kind of goals you want to achieve together.
One of these goals may be to get married within the next few years. If you do plan for a wedding in the future, that’s going to be an event you’ll want to set aside some money for. Having kids is another big decision that will require some financial planning if you decide to start a family.
Down the line, you may also want to buy your first house one day. You’ll want to get a mortgage pre-approval to determine how much money you can borrow to purchase a home. This will help you figure out where you may want to live and what kind of house you’ll be able to buy, and from here you will be able to create a financial plan to help you achieve these goals.
Handle Chores and Responsibilities
When living with your significant other, you’ll need to determine how you will both split regular chores, such as cleaning, grocery shopping, and cooking.
No one person can do it all, so you’ll need to find the balance in your relationship to make tackling all the responsibilities a breeze. Much like your finances, you can choose to designate specific chores to each other or share them.
Dealing with chores is a responsibility that needs to be taken care of by both parties, as resentment is sure to build if one person isn’t pulling their weight. You can alternate responsibilities by the day or week, or stick to your own set of chores. Whichever way you decide to split your home responsibilities, make sure to communicate and find out what works best for the both of you.
Give Yourselves Individual Time
A big aspect of moving in together is all the time spent with your significant other. Even if you were spending a lot of time together before moving in, this new space will be shared between you equally, and living together is going to be a change.
It is especially important for each party to find alone time from each other. It’s not necessary or healthy to spend 24/7 with each other, and alone time once or twice a week will only make the time you spend together even more valuable.
While it can be easy to fall into a routine with your partner, you want to make sure you are living your own life and dedicate time to your own personal hobbies and passions. This will help you maintain a sense of individuality, which will only enhance your relationship. Self-growth is an ongoing journey and taking time to yourself to pursue further personal growth will only add what you can bring to the table in your relationship.
Consider the Future
You and your partner will be taking a big step in your relationship by moving in together, so it’s crucial to consider the rest of the future.
- Are you thinking of getting married?
- Where do you want to move to?
- Will you want to start a family?
- Do you want pets?
These things require planning in advance as well as financial preparation as marriage, relocation, a house, and having children or pets are a financial commitment as well as long-term goals.
You may not know all of the answers yet, and that’s okay! Or, perhaps you and your partner have already spoken about these things and have an idea of the kind of life you want to live. Either way, this is a new chapter in your relationship, and being on the same page as your partner will help you both in navigating future obstacles.
Preparing for Your New Life Together
Moving in together can be a big milestone, and there’s a lot to discuss before jumping on a place together. But by considering your finances, future, and how you’ll manage to live together as a unit, you both set yourselves up for success.
As long as you and your significant other communicate openly and honestly, you’ll be able to tackle any future challenges and achieve both your individual and joint goals.
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Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.