There are a number of milestones that you’ll face together when you’re in a relationship – changing your Facebook status, meeting the parents and going on your first holiday. But one of the biggest is moving in together.
Buying or renting your first property together can be an exciting time, but you shouldn’t jump into it without thinking through how your situation’s going to work – there are a couple of things you should talk through first.
Where’s everything going to go?
Before we walk you through the financial implications of moving in together, let’s talk about the practical things you’re going to have to think about first. When it comes to moving in with another person, you’re going to have two lots of everything to fit into one place.
As you’re not going to be able to fit everything in – or need it all – you may choose to leave certain items at your parents’ house (if they’re willing) or sell whatever you think you don’t need. If you’ve got a lot of duplicate items – two toasters, two sofas or two wardrobes – you could make some extra cash. You can do this by using online auctioning sites like eBay or Gumtree. If you’d rather keep these items and have nowhere else to store them, you could rent out a storage space with a company like Big Yellow or Loknstore – just be aware that you’ll pay for this depending on how long you’re going to need the storage for.
On moving day, be cautious of using a company promoting their services online – you don’t want to fall for a removal van scam like one couple did.
One of the major things to discuss before moving in is how you’re going to manage your finances when living together. Doing this beforehand should help you to avoid any headaches or arguments later on.
You may both decide that the easiest option is to pool all of your money together and pay your bills from what you both contribute – a joint bank account would be ideal in helping you to do this. Alternatively, you may decide that you’d rather keep things separate and if that’s the case, you could both continue to have an individual account and split the bills between you both.
You could divide this up in a number of ways – one of you could take on the responsibility of paying the rent each month, while the other sets up a standing order to pay their share of the payment. Or you could open up a joint account just for your bills, with you both putting in an equal share towards these each month.
A joint bank account is exactly what it says on the tin – an account that two or more people have access to. As this is the case, it’s important that you trust the person you’re sharing the account with, as you’ll both be able to use it to pay bills, get money paid in and withdraw cash.
This isn’t the only thing to consider though, as opening a joint bank account creates a financial link between you and your partner. This means that any future credit checks on either one of you will include the other person’s credit history – so if your partner has a bad credit history (or vice versa) this could have an effect on you. As well as this, you’re both “jointly and severally liable” for any transactions made, so if you run up any debts you’ll both be responsible for paying these back.
Here at thinkmoney, we offer a joint thinkmoney Personal Account. The account will help you budget your shared finances and comes with a monthly management fee of £24.50 – you can find out more about the account and its features here.