Moving in with a partner
Money issues can mean stress for your relationship, so it’s important you agree how to manage your joint finances with your partner before you move in together. As with any relationship, communication from the outset is key!
Getting to know each other’s financial habits
When you move in with your partner, you both need to decide how to pay for your shared expenses such as your mortgage or rent and bills. Take into account each other’s incomes and general financial situation. The key is to come up with an arrangement that suits and seems fair to both of you. Also, discuss how you will keep track of your joint finances, and who has responsibility for what.
Managing your day-to-day finances
Discuss and agree how you will pay for shared expenses - you could each pay your own share, or use a joint account and make contributions to it.
Use our budget planner to get you started. It will help you work out what income you have available and what changes you may need to make to take account of your new living arrangements. It’s important that both of you understand how much you can afford to spend, so that you don’t end up bearing the cost of the other’s overspending. You can also use our Economiser to help you identify how your spending compares with the most relevant average for you. The Economiser will compare your spending and give you tips on how you can cut your spending in four key categories - groceries, energy, TV and telecoms (other than mobile) and mobile.
If you have a joint account, under the Central Bank's Consumer Protection Code your account provider must inform you of any risks in having a joint account and find out if you want to put limits on your joint account. For example, you could request that both of your signatures are needed to make a withdrawal from the account. You could also agree to only transfer in a certain amount of money every month.
Use our budget planner to get you started. It will help you work out what income you have available and what changes you may need to make to take account of your new living arrangements. It’s important that both of you understand how much you can afford to spend, so that you don’t end up bearing the cost of the other’s overspending.
Decide your saving and investment goals
Discuss your common savings goals. For example, you may want to save for a house deposit or for your wedding or just for a rainy day. Consider the impact certain decisions may have on other goals. For example, if you want to save for a deposit on a house can you afford to do this while paying your current rent? You may also want to consider setting up a joint savings account and pooling your savings, which may give you better returns on lump sum deposit accounts or savings accounts.
Decide what (if any) investment risks you are willing to take and discuss your concerns together.
Think about how you would cope if you were to become ill or unable to work
One option, if you can afford to save, is to set up an ‘emergency fund’. Aim to build up at least three months salary. There are other types of insurance products such as income protection, serious illness or mortgage repayment protection which can help you prepare for the unexpected.
Protecting your property
If you are renting, you may want to consider getting contents insurance to protect your personal items from theft or damage. Use our home insurance shopping around checklist (PDF) to help you ask the right questions so you get the best deal on your contents insurance.
If you are buying a home together, there are many things to consider
Use our mortgage calculator to help you work out your repayments, how much they cost and if you can afford them. Before you buy, consider the consequences if things don’t work out and get independent legal advice if you are buying with your partner. If you have any financial concerns about relationship break-ups see our information on separation and divorce.