Moving in With Your Boyfriend? Here’s 35 Questions to Answer First

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So, you're seriously considering moving in with your boyfriend. But how do you know if you, your relationship, and (most importantly) your finances are ready? Moving in together can have significant financial benefits, but there are drawbacks because your relationship isn't financially protected by the legalities of marriage or a domestic partnership.

While seeing your boyfriend more and building a life together is a dream come true (seriously, I'm excited for you!), you'll want to make sure you're just as ready for the downs as you are for the ups.

This is why I recommend the following questions you and your partner should answer before the moving truck swings by for your furniture. (And here's a post on what you should definitely cover before getting married.)

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Logistical Questions to ask before moving in with your boyfriend

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Sample questions to ask include:

  • Will you both move into your place, your partner's place, or will you look for something new?
  • If you choose to look for something new, where will that be?

  • What locations are you interested in?

  • What location fits both of your wants and needs?

  • What can you each afford?

Financial questions to ask before moving in with your boyfriend

You know that awkward feeling you get when you're out to dinner with someone and the bill comes and you both look at each other, not knowing who will pay for what? Now imagine that feeling, but with everything you need to live.

Sample questions to ask include:

  • Are you going to split living expenses, such as rent and utilities, 50/50?
  • Who will be responsible for paying the bills and managing finances?
  • Will you have a joint bank account, or will different bills come out of your accounts separately?
  • Who gets to keep the living space in the event of a breakup?
  • Should the other partner be expected to help subsidize moving costs in the event of a breakup?
  • Are you both going to contribute equally to other expenses, such as furniture, home repairs and maintenance, or cleaning services?
  • Do I have a separate savings account or “f*ck off fund,” in the event I need to move out?
  • How will we split moving expenses? Especially if one partner is staying in the place and the other is paying to move in with them?
  • Who handles paying which bills? (Personally, I think you should be automating your bill pay at this point.)
  • How do you each expect reimbursement? (Apps like paypal and venmo make this easier than ever!)
  • Where will we keep our financial paperwork?
  • Will we have a regular “money meeting”?
  • How will we split chores?
  • If we outsource chores, who pays?

Examples of how couples can split bills

When it comes to paying for your rent or mortgage, how will you split it? There are a few different options to consider.

Down the middle – you each pay for 50%

Proportional – you split rent/mortgage payments based on take home pay. So, if rent is $1,000/month and you take home $5,000/month and your partner brings home $2,000/month then you perform a simple calculation.

  • Total monthly take-home $5,000 + $2,000 = $7,000
  • The percentage that you contribute to the total monthly take-home $7,000 / $5, 000 = 0.71% (you make approximately 70% of your households take-home pay each month)
  • You pay 70% of the rent which is $700 and your partner pays the remainder, $3000.

One person takes on the entire expense. Perhaps you’re in a situation where one person is making way more money and is happy to take on the entire payment to help the other partner out.

When it comes to splitting the bills make sure you also consider your other living expenses. How are you going to split utilities, groceries, insurance, etc.?

Again, there’s no one-size fits all solution. You and your partner will have to decide what works best for you. The point is you will need to have these conversations. One way you can work through these conversations is to create a cohabitation agreement.  

A cohabitation agreement is a legal agreement that is made by a couple that is choosing to live together. This document provides you and your partner with the opportunity to outline what would happen if things don’t work out.

Questions About Communication

No matter how well you and your boyfriend get along, problems will come up. Even if your relationship is picture perfect, emergencies will happen in your life (or his) that can be stressful for both of you. Your pipes may freeze, or his baby sister keeps askingg for money. There's no way to tell what potential problems will arise. Having a problem-solving method or at least a conversation about how each of you likes to solve problems will save you both a lot of stress (and potential nights spent on the couch).

Sample questions to ask include:

  • How do you prefer to resolve conflict?
  • How should we handle it when the other gets angry?
  • Can we agree to not “fight dirty” when we argue?
  • What is very triggering for you in an argument?
  • How can I avoid doing this?

Often, couples counseling can be a great option for those who want a neutral third party to help with these difficult conversations. Talkspace is a trusted partner and this company works for all kinds of counseling, couples, and families!) and they match you with a virtual therapist on your own timeline and budget.

“Discussing the Future” Questions 

When considering the possibility of moving in with your boyfriend, you'll want to have a good, long think about why. Are you just looking to save money by living together? If that's the case, it might be better for you to find a roommate than live with someone you're romantically involved with. But if you find you're already spending most of your nights together and you're both thinking about marriage down the road, then moving in together could be a great next step.

Sample questions to ask include:

  • Have we talked about the future enough that I feel comfortable moving forward?
  • What is our shared timeline for future events such as marriage, children and buying a home?
  • How long will we stay in our first shared apartment or house, and where will we move afterward?
  • Will the way we manage our finances change if/when we get married?
  • If/when we get married, will we need a prenup?

Again, you don't have to have concrete answers to these questions – but they're meant to give you both a general idea about where you and your partner stand emotionally. Personally, I wouldn't move in with someone unless I considered them a long-term/forever partner. It's just too complicated and messy to move out when it doesn't work out otherwise, in my opinion. (And take it from me, who has cohabited with two boyfriends and weathered a divorce! Moving is expensive.)

Joining Finances When You Move In Together

Moving in together (whether pre-marriage or as part of getting hitched) is a big step in any relationship. Once you're sharing the same space, it seems like you're sharing everything – from food to soap and even clothes.

But does merging your spaces mean that it's time to merge your finances?

Quite possibly, so below are our best tips on how to manage money when your are merging your finances and your living space. (P.S. These tips also work for married couples, non-married long-term partners or anyone who wants to manage money better with the person you share your life with.)

Have the “Awkward Money Chat” Before Moving in With Boyfriend

Before you ever move in together, you should first have a discussion about where you both are (and where you want to go) financially. This is the time to be completely honest with each other. Financial expert Erin Lowry famously calls this “getting financially naked.” And we're talking about the nitty-gritty here. Sample questions to ask include:

The answers to these questions are going to be your foundation if you guys end up discussing marriage and a lifelong partnership. At a minimum, it's important that you know where your partner is money-wise because moving in together is, ultimately, a highly financial endeavor. 

Make a Joint Budget

New living arrangements mean new expenses. So, if both of you are open to it, your first course of action should be to create a new budget. If you're merging finances, calculate your new spending amounts out of the checking account you share. Just be sure to track your new shared expenses and adjust your spending as needed! Even if you're keeping your finances separate, or calculating who-owes-what based on a percentage of income model, a new budget is a good idea.

Need a starting point for your budget? Try ROCKET MONEY — a free app that tracks your expenses, budget, and negotiates bills on your behalf, all in one place. Click here to register for free!
. (I know I mentioned this before, earlier in the article. Still, it bears repeating.)

Having a savings account just for yourself doesn't mean you don't believe in your relationship or that it won't work out. Seriously, though, women need to be smart in today's economy. So, if you are a woman reading this article and only take away ONE THING. Fuck the questions, it is this:  Move in with your boyfriend, but have your own money set aside. You'll thank me later.

I can't think of anything worse than breaking up with your live-in boyfriend and being unable to move because of your finances. Even if it's just a small amount in a “Rainy Day Fund” inside of an app, like Qapital, it's important to have a little tucked away – just for you- in case you need it.

Deciding to move in with your significant other is a big relational step. You learn a lot about a person when you live together – for better or for worse. So, before you dive in and shack up with your partner, make sure you’ve given it some serious thought, and prepared your finances accordingly.

Mel Van de Graaf and Jessica Martel contributed to this article.

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