Managing your money when you move in together

Living together is a big step. You may be merging your lives more closely, but should you merge your finances? 

So you’ve taken the leap and decided to move in together.

It’s an exciting time which can take your relationship to a new level, but it can also add new pressures as you address practical matters such as how you divide the chores and the costs.

Set your new home up for success by discussing joint finances upfront and early on.

How serious are you?

Consider how long you’ve been together and how serious the relationship is before deciding to merge your money.

Moving in together can make or break a relationship so it might be a good idea to give your new living arrangement a few months to settle before addressing the question of joint finances.

Talk about values and past experiences

Both how you were raised and your past experiences can have a big influence on your financial outlook.

It’s worth discussing your attitudes to money including:

  • who managed the finances in your family
  • how family financial decisions were made
  • experiences you may have from managing money in past relationships and
  • whether you’re a financial conservative or risk taker.

Consider your future goals

A conversation about your goals, both personally and as a couple, can help ensure you’re on the same path. You might uncover joint goals to begin saving for such as:

All or nothing?

Merging money doesn’t have to be a case of all or nothing.

Perhaps you could open a joint account for shared expenses and bills while maintaining separate accounts for personal spending?

A joint savings account that you can both contribute to in order to save for your goals could also be useful.

What else to consider

Once you’ve been living together for two years you’re legally considered to be defactos1. This means that if your relationship ends, the division of any assets or debts could be decided by the courts, just as for married couples. So while it’s not pleasant to think about, it’s important to consider whether you’d like to be protected and how easily your money could be separated, if need be.

Finally, to ensure you’re getting the most from your money – whether it’s managed together or separately, it’s important to have a budget. Use our budget planner calculator to help you work out how much you need to put aside to pay bills and how much you could have left over to spend or save.

And for more information on making the move, visit our moving in together insights page.
 

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Any advice in this page is general in nature and is provided by AMP Life Limited ABN 84 079 300 379 (AMP Life). The advice does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of this advice having regard to those matters. AMP Bett3r Account is issued by AMP Bank Limited ABN 15 081 596 009, AFSL 234517. Consider the terms and conditions available on request by calling 13 30 30 or at amp.com.au/bett3r and whether this product is appropriate for you. Fees and charges apply.

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