Congratulations! You have found your life partner. It is an exciting time. So many things to think about. So much to do. When a relationship reaches the point where you are planning to live together, you will already know the person well but living together is different. These are a few thoughts to help a young couple in the first few years of a relationship.
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The processes I have developed over my career as a financial planner help couples gain greater insight into their finances and how to plan for a successful future together. For more information, please contact me.
Money is known to cause more arguments between couples than almost any other thing. Therefore, having a good understanding of the other person’s point of view and expectations is a crucial part of any conversation you have before taking that big step. You also need them to be honest about their financial situation as this will have an impact on you going forward. Ask them what they would do if they were financially secure or were able to retire early. What their commitments are. Generally, there is one person in a relationship which is a better saver and feels more comfortable with numbers.
Many couples choose to combine their finances and delegate the daily management of their joint finances to one of them. This does not absolve the other from all responsibility for their financial status. Making major decisions together is important.
Some couples keep their finances separate. Here there needs to be a method of allocating costs between you. For example, 50/50 or split according to earnings. Regular reviews are important to ensure fair distribution of expenses.
It is easy to get lost in the excitement and romance of living together. But don’t forget the good habits you have developed as a single person This is a golden opportunity to build capital beyond the emergency fund towards such things as a home which is an important step towards your financial independence.
Savings are made when two incomes are coming into a household compared to a single income household. Try to save this ‘moving in together’ dividend. If you were both able to save 20% of your income when you were paying the rent on your own, you should now be able to save the old rent and probably the cost of utilities too with no impact on your standard of living.
As you now have someone else who is financially dependent on you, you should review your Will and consider the implications of large and unexpected costs on your financial security and early retirement.