Time For Joint Accounts? Moving In Together, Managing Finances Take Relationships To Another Level

April 15, 2014  |  

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Most couples get caught up in the romance of moving in together. But loving under one roof entails more than just relationship commitment. It also means co-mingling of expenses and finances.

According to a new Rent.com survey, the No. 1 issue renters said they wished they discussed before moving in together was how to divide their finances. Rent.com surveyed 1,000 co-habitating partners and found out that 27 percent said they moved in together after dating for less than six months, even though only seven percent of renters recommended doing so so soon  Eighteen percent didn’t think couples should move in together until after marriage. And 15 percent said they waited until after marriage.

Dealing with how to handle money is a major stressors for couples. According to the survey, 16 percent of renters said splitting the finances was their biggest challenge since moving in together. More than one-third (34 percent) choose to split everything evenly while 23 percent (97 percent of which were women!) said their significant other covers all the bills. Only 16 percent said they split bills based on their individual income, while 15 percent said it varies month to month.

One aspect the study didn’t cover is spending habits. Having just moved in with my boyfriend (after two years), I am just now learning his money management style. When it comes to household items, he likes to set money aside and purchase major pieces one at a time. I like to spend money on buying small items that will decorate the rooms. When it comes to spending money on food, I like to buy a lot every month for the entire month. He likes to shop week by week and spend on high-price natural food items. When we run out of food at home, he opts for take out. While we have learned to compromise on the major household purchases — we buy a few small household accessories every time we make a big purchase — we are still butting heads on the food expenditure.

So learning your partner’s spending priorities is also an important aspect of co-habitating.

But on the bright side,  32 percent polled in the survey said the biggest benefit to moving in together was finding out if their significant other was “the one.”

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