Transitioning Living Spaces with your Partner
In a long-term relationship, deciding to move in with each other is a great step that can strengthen your bond and also make sense financially. You’ll be sharing chores, responsibilities, electricity bills, and meals, and this can be a completely new experience for some couples. There may be some growing pains, but discussing some of the more important aspects with your partner prior to moving in is a great way to avoid arguments that take away from the excitement of transitioning into your new space.
Be Smart about Your Finances
Being open and honest with your partner about finances is an important pillar in your relationship, especially when you will be cohabitating. This means being transparent about how much you make, your spending habits, any looming college loans, and the bills that you are responsible for. The best way you can do this is to keep a spreadsheet of your finances and match them up against your rent expenses, including all the appliances and furniture that you’ll need to purchase. Keeping everything organized in one place will help you and your partner keep track of what your budget can afford while searching for a place.
It’s also important to keep in mind that you don’t have to buy everything brand new or all at once. Focusing on what you need, versus what you want is key to saving in the first few months of moving in. You can also, find many great used items through facebook forums, apps like Letgo and craigslist, and your local salvation army to cut done on expenses. Once you get settled into your space, and your funds allow for it, you can invest in that hand crafted dining room table you’ve always wanted or a new state-of-the-art refrigerator. Taking home improvements in stages will help you afford the things you really want in the long run, without putting a huge dent in your bank account. All it takes is a little patience. This will also, help you get a cohesive look that fits both of your styles, and you can take the time to find the perfect pieces without feeling like your breaking the bank.
Have Realistic Expectations
Before you move in together, be sure to get on the same page with your significant other on what the expectations will be and how you might delegate responsibilities. Figure out what chores each of you prefer doing or not doing, and split up the responsibilities accordingly. It’s important to be honest about what your pet peeves may be as well, but be realistic in knowing your partner isn’t perfect. They will most likely leave the seat up or throw their clothes on the floor from time to time, but learn to be open about things when they bother you, and respect that your partner is trying their best to keep your shared space clean.
You should also, discuss the importance of time spent together, as well as time spent apart. Now that you’ll be sharing a bedroom, bathroom, and living room, there may be times when you want some time to yourself….and that’s okay! It’s healthy to take a night out of the week to spend time with friends or to have a special spot in your apartment that is all for you. Just because you are moving in with someone else, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your alone time. As long as you are open with your partner about your needs and wants, there’s no reason you can’t have some “me time.”