Moving in together. Take the next step, the smart way
Posted on 09/07/2018
Money and shared-living arrangements
The process of moving in with a partner can be an exciting stage in your relationship, but there are some financial considerations to consider to help you both get the best results with your money and avoid problems in the future.
How will you split the expenses?
Household expenses are an important considerations between you and your partner. Whether you decide to split everything equally, or keep things separate, its best to get a clear idea from the start.
Have you thought about opening a joint bank account?
A joint bank account can make it easier for couples living together, especially when there are shared expenses. Setting this up a joint bank account is a big commitment and 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
Usually, you’ll be able to decide 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.
Digital services can make it easier to access your money and should be considered when having a joint bank account.
Joining your finances
Sharing the responsibility
Once moving in together, it may be worthwhile getting your both of your names on:
Using both your names means that you both accept full responsibility for the expense. This means that you may be found liable for your partners share if they do not pay the loan.
Be wary of placing your name on a loan that will only benefit your partner – in the event of something happening, you will be left to pay the remaining debt.
Bringing it all together
By combining different aspects of your life you could save money now and in the future. It could be worth considering:
Bringing your private health insurance together—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—if your partner doesn’t work you may be able to claim a tax offset for after-tax spouse contributions.
General Advice Disclosure: This document contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information. If you decide to purchase or vary a financial product, your financial adviser, AMP Financial Planning and other companies within the AMP Group may receive fees and other benefits. The fees will be a dollar amount and/or a percentage of either the premium you pay or the value of your investment. Please contact us if you want more information.