|Our Stache Money Jar from Etsy|
The most intimidating conversation to have with your better half prior to moving in together is actually NOT which side of the bed do you sleep on. That’s really, really important though. There is something much more practical that warrants getting sweaty and calling your best girl or guy friend for help: M-O-N-E-Y. The dirtiest five-letter word in the English language, money makes the world go round and unfortunately most of us don’t make enough of it. Now there are some of us that are totally cool talking about money. Congrats, you’re a member of the 1% of people I know who can have a calm, non-sweaty conversation about money. Most of us (myself included) would rather visit the DMV on a Saturday afternoon than talk to anyone close – friends, coworkers, significant others – about money. When you’re planning on moving in together, you’re outta luck, you have to talk about money. Specifically the two of you need to get on the same page about how much you’re willing to spend and if you have the income to cover it. This will be awkward. Even if you often feel as though you and your better half share the same mind, talking about money can make a person clam up.
The first thing that you have to get out in the open is how much you make. Is this more or less than your siggy makes? If more, are you willing to pay a little more in rent or in utilities to balance that difference? If you make less, is he or she willing to pick up the slack? First things first, if there is a wage gap, you cannot expect to pay for things 50/50. Like everything else in a relationship, expenses might need some compromising on. If you make a little extra dough and you want the nicer place, then you need to be willing to pay a little more than your honey to make it happen. If you don’t and you expect an even split, trust me, resentment is going to build up! Now there are some expenses you shouldn’t have to split, if you don’t watch TV and your partner wants the platinum-over-the-top-no-expenses-spared-television-event package from your cable provider…well, I personally don’t think you need to fork up a lot of money for that. But then you can’t expect him to pay for your yoga classes or your fancy organic vegetables delivered to your door fortnightly. Compromises! They make the world go round!
But seriously, each and every relationship is different. If you’re in a position where you are willing to shoulder more than your fair share to help your partner out, then by all means do it! In theory, you love each other and want to help each other out so don’t let me stop you. If you don’t want to help each other…well, I don’t think I should be telling you want you need to do… I think the more simply you can break out expenses the better for you and your relationship. The sooner you agree on a plan, the better situated you will be when you need to collect for rent, utilities, credit cards and (possibly, can I wish?) on savings. My final rule: be truthful. Tell your partner what you can and can’t afford right now. If you and your partner are upfront and realistic about moving and expenses then living together will have an unnecessary stress removed from your relationship!