Financial Implications of Moving In Together: What I Wish I Knew Before
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Moving in with someone is a big step in any relationship. In all the excitement and emotion, you might not consider the financial implications of moving in together. TapGenes is here to help – with what to know before moving in with someone!

My boyfriend was on the couch again, guffawing into his cell phone, with the remote, chips and beer. Smack-talking with his friends over the football game — but it didn’t matter what sport it was, from baseball to volleyball he watched it all, loudly, with crumbs.

Somehow I had missed this part of his personality when we began dating. If I watched a sporting event with him, it was with several people in the same room and it was endearing to witness his passion. Seeing him slob all over the couch we had painstakingly picked out “together” was killing my roomie vibe. He, of course, was oblivious. I wish I had known about this quirk before we moved in together.

That boyfriend is now my husband and over the years, we’ve worked out a few of those quirks. He’s drawn me into sporting events to the point that I was the one who signed up for Red Sox season tickets. In turn, he now gives me design opinions along the lines of, “I’m not sure those chartreuse accent pillows go with the dove gray comforter.”

We did a roundup of comments from people living together (either married or cohabiting) and found quite a bit of humor, but also a few common themes.

  • “That he hates doing the dishes as much as I do.”
  • “Didn’t realize how much time he spends watching sports.”
  • “That shopping is actually an activity.”
  • “That he doesn’t cook at all. Ever.”
  • “He never throws anything out.”
  • “That purses are something women collect.”
  • “Wish we had talked about handling money more, it’s a sore spot.”

Many of these comments fall into one of two categories: chores/division of labor, and decisions over money/budgets. To keep your mind and relationship at peace, it is good to know the organizational and financial implications of moving in together.

Making money decisions

One study found couple discussions around money erupted into an argument 27% of the time. Also, if couples argue about money once a week, they are twice as likely to divorce as couples who argue about money once a month. Knowledge of the financial implications of moving in together could save you many an argument!

Here’s a bit of advice to avoid fights about finances.

  1. Be upfront about finances. Openly discuss where you are and where you’d like to go. Actively listen to your partner about their goals and remember a lot of emotional baggage can come with spending habits. Give your loved one a chance to talk about where their ideas about money came from, it could be from a painful place.
  2. Collaborate on a budget. The two of you together need to set goals for everything from savings to travel to the grocery bill. By working together, you’ll both be invested in the outcome and more likely to stick to them.
  3. Figure out how to resolve big issues before they happen. In what town should you buy a home? Will your kids go to private school or public? How much will these choices cost or save? There will be big issues that crop up where one person “wins” at the others expense. Figure out how you’ll decide the outcome before the decision comes to a head so you can work it out amicably. For my husband and I, we trade big wins. If a major life decision goes his way, then the next one goes mine. It’s not perfect, but we both can live with it.

Divvying the chores

No one likes to do them, and the type of household you grew up in can make a big difference on how your approach cleaning. My household was all about throwing stuff in closets minutes before guests arrived. My husband’s military family would have died in horror at not having everything in its place and properly dusted. Needless to say, our chore expectations clashed.

The other big problem is my husband grew up in a traditional family with a stay-at-home Mom he never cleaned a bathroom until he had his first apartment after college. To say there were arguments was an understatement.

A Chicago Sloan study found men take on 33% of household tasks and spend 18% of their time doing them. Women take on 67% of household tasks and spend 22% of their time doing them, even if they worked equal hours outside the home.

Ways to resolve chore conflicts include:

  • Establishing chores up front and set a schedule for execution of tasks.
  • Work to each person’s strengths and preferences and fairly decide on tasks both people dislike.
  • Consider hiring outside help to ease the workload.

What about your household? What is the biggest point of friction in your home? What do you wish you knew about your honey before moving in together? Share tips and tricks below.

TapGenes TakeAway: Moving in together can be a joy and a challenge. Couples share their pain points with advice on how to move past the tough stuff, from money to cleaning toilets. Understanding the organizational and financial implications of moving in together could help you avoid stress and arguments with your partner. 

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