Moving in with a significant other can make life easier—you get to come home to your favourite person every night, help each other out around the house and split the household expenses. Despite these advantages, sharing your space and belongings can come with a few challenges as well. Here are four conversations you should have before moving in together to make the transition as smooth as possible.
1. Hash out your habits
Finding a level of cleanliness and organization that both you and your partner are happy with can be a challenge, so sit down and talk through the expectations for chores and cleanliness before you move in together.
Who’s in charge of grocery shopping, taking out the garbage or cleaning the bathroom? How often should these chores be done? If you don’t discuss these tasks beforehand, one person will likely feel like they’re doing more and get frustrated at their partner.
2. Have the money talk
Although discussing finances may not be the most romantic topic, it is helpful to avoid future conflict. Be open with each other about debts, income, credit score, savings and investments, as these factors will impact your search for an apartment or home, as well as your ability to pay for necessities and household expenses.
Once you have the full picture of each other’s finances, decide how you will divvy up and track expenses. Some options for keeping track include a shared spreadsheet, a shared bank account for common expenses and using a tool like Splitwise that does the calculations for you.
3. Sort through your belongings
If both of you currently live in your own apartments or homes, you likely have too many belongings for a shared space. Before you move in together, take an inventory of your belongings and decide what you’re willing to keep, sell, toss or donate before you go through the trouble of moving everything to a new place.
Your partner may have belongings that you consider “junk,” but which may have emotional significance for them. Before demanding that they get rid of something, ask why it’s important to them and work through a solution together.
4. Get the right insurance coverage for your new living situation
Your insurance needs will change when you move in together. If one of you is moving into the other’s home, the person moving in needs to be added as a named insured with respect to contents and liability and may require additional coverage for unique belongings such as coin collections, jewelry, furs, bikes, etc. If you’re both moving into a new place, you’ll need to find a home insurance policy that’s right for both of you.
If you’re sharing a car, you’ll also need to add yourself or your partner as a listed driver to the car owner’s insurance policy. Insurers can deny claims if a driver wasn’t truthful about the level of risk for the policy in question, which includes disclosing all licensed drivers in the household as well as anyone who regularly drives the vehicle.
Moving is a great opportunity to shop around for rates and see what discounts you can receive by bundling your home and car insurance. With OTIP, you can save up to 50% on home insurance when you insure both your car and home with us.
To discuss how you can adjust your car or home insurance coverage to fit your new living situation, contact an OTIP broker today at 1-800-267-6847.