2. Decide on a budget
One of the first things to discuss before moving in is how much rent or mortgage you can reasonably afford. Figure out what you’re both comfortable paying each month, and make sure you can find a place in that price range. Even so, don’t forget other expenses, such as utilities, entertainment, streaming services and amenities. If you can, try to stay under budget. That way you’ll have more money on the side that you can either put away or use for other necessities.
3. Figure out how to split expenses
You and your partner will likely divide your rent or mortgage evenly — but what about bills and other costs? Add up your combined monthly income and see if you can split everything down the middle. (If one of you earns a lot more than the other, it makes sense for the bigger earner to pay a bigger share of the bills. That way you’ll both contribute what you can.)
Another bill-paying strategy is to assign specific expenses to each of you. For example, you can do this based on who can more easily cover each bill, or who would probably use a service like cable TV more often.
4. Discuss the future
The future is an important topic in any relationship — but it’s critical once you decide to live together. Before you even consider potential homes, be sure you and your partner both want the same things. Share your thoughts on marriage, children, careers and anything else that could affect your lifestyle. And make sure to include your financial goals in the equation.
If you find you’ll want different things down the road, you may want to reconsider your more immediate plans. If it comes down to that, you both may be best off removing the bandage sooner than later.