- Posted by: Nick Lucey
- Category: Advice, Banking, Budgeting, Financial Planning, money, Tips & Tricks
Are You Ready To Take The Next Step?
Moving in with your partner can be an exciting stage in your relationship, but there are a few financial considerations to think about to help you both get the most of your money and avoid problems down the track.
How Will You Split The Expenses?
You’ll need to consider how you’re going to share the household expenses. Whether you decide to split everything equally or plan on keeping things separate, it’s best to get a clear idea from the beginning.
Have You Thought About Opening A Joint Bank Account?
Setting up a joint bank account with your partner is a big commitment, but it can make it easier for couples living together, especially when there are shared expenses.
A joint bank account could:
- Make it easier to pay your household expenses (e.g. bills, rent, groceries and home loan)
- Lower the fees you pay (one account is generally cheaper than having two)
- Help you keep track of what you’re spending as a household
- Help you save more by combining each person’s savings in one account and potentially earning more interest.
Remember, you can still maintain some financial independence by keeping other investments and credit cards separate from your joint account.
How Joint Bank Accounts Work
Generally, you’ll be able to choose between two options:
- Both to sign joint bank account – You can only take money out of the account when both people sign.
- Either to sign joint bank account – Money can be transacted by both parties independently of each other.
Make sure you consider any digital services when having a joint bank account. This can make it very easy to access money for any account holder.
Joining Your Finances
If you’re moving in with your partner, you may want to share the responsibility and consider getting both your names on:
- Household bills (e.g. electricity, gas and water bills)
- The rental lease or the home loan.
But you need to be clear that using both your names means you both take on full responsibility for the expense. So if your partner does not pay their share of the rent or home loan, you may be find you are liable for their share as well.
You should particularly be mindful of putting your name on a loan that will only benefit your partner – in case something was to happen and you’re left to pay the remaining debt.
Bringing It All Together
Pulling together different aspects of your life could save you money now and for the future.
It may be worth considering:
- Bringing your private health insurance together as generally it’s cheaper on a couple’s plan
- Your other insurance policies and whether you can get a family discount if you are with the same insurer as your partner
- Consolidating your investments
- Contributing to your partner’s super – as if your partner doesn’t work you may be able to claim a tax offset for after-tax spouse contributions.