Unfortunately, it may also become the time when you learn how to distrust your partner and find reasons to argue over money. You can avoid all this if you properly plan your financial future.
If you were moving into a property to share with friends, you would agree how the finances should be dealt with before you move in. Why do so many people forget this simple exercise when they fall in love?
Sit down and meet
You should not rush in and combine all of your money together. Although it makes great sense to secure a percentage of your earnings in a joint bank account so you both become responsible for all of the bills, you should still maintain your own separate bank accounts, should the worst happen; and statistics suggest it might.
Write an agreement
You should both agree in advance on how much each of you will pay into the joint account every week or month; this can be an amount in dollars or a percentage of your take home pay. Review the bills and agree on which would be paid through the joint account. When it comes to purchases of major items, you will need to agree on what is purchased jointly (TV, fridge etc.)
The agreement should also cover the day after. In the event of separation how will you handle outstanding bills and how will the cash be split?
Essentially, you will both need to know what will happen to everything and not just your finances, while you are together and then another set of rules should you end your living together period.
What if things go wrong?
The real difficulties arise when one partner loses their income. You need to plan how your bills will get be paid if this situation occurs. Another scenario can by loss, or reduction, in income during a time of pregnancy.
You will find that the financial side of your relationship will work well if you both know and understand the rules you apply to each other in the event of losing income or if you decide to split up.
Unfortunately, broken relationships still evolve in mysterious ways and often partners can take actions the other individual does not agree with.
Don’t forget the love
What happens if your finances are really tight and one of you goes out and buys the latest iPad? The answer will show your mixture of real love and financial muscle.
Finally, there is some good news. Over 50% of people who move in together go on and get married and live together happily ever after.
The writer, Samuel Rosenberg, is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to [email protected]