8 Important Ways to Budget for Your First Apartment Together

It’s well known that millennials are waiting to get married, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t having meaningful relationships. As of 2016, about 18 million adults are cohabitating with their significant other. 

That is up 29% from 10 years earlier. With more people cohabitating, it has become more important to discuss finances with your partner. 

Follow our guide when moving into your first apartment with your partner. This is a big step in your relationship, and it’s important you are both emotionally and financially ready. 

1. The 50/50 Approach 

Before you commit to an apartment, you and your partner need to sit down and discuss what you each can afford. A good starting point is to divide all of the fixed apartment expenses in half. This way each party is contributing equally to the living expenses. 

Don’t think you have to commit to a 50/50 split though. If one person makes more or has less debt, they could pay more. This could be a 45/55 or even 60/40 split. 

Both of you should agree to adhere to this payment agreement until your situation changes. This could be a job promotion or loss, illness, or car breakdown. 

2. Take Turns Footing the Date Night Bill 

You live together now and are sharing living expenses. This means that you should also start sharing the expense of date night

It doesn’t have to be exact or set in stone. If your partner picked up the tab for dinner last week, then you pay the bill this week. 

By offering to take turns you show that you are focused on being a team with your partner. That you are invested in the relationship with them. 

It is important to set a budget for date night though. You don’t want either partner to feel pressured or obligated to pay for dates that they can’t afford. 

3. Don’t Borrow Money 

Borrowing a $20 for the pizza delivery guy is one thing. That you can easily grab at the ATM to pay your partner back the next time you are out. 

If there is an emergency beyond your control that affects you both, it might be acceptable to borrow money. But you shouldn’t make it a regular thing to borrow money from each other. 

This can create a strain on your relationship. One partner may feel that they don’t agree with the way the other manages their money. 

If you do ask to borrow money and your partners says no, don’t get mad. It doesn’t mean that they don’t care about you. Often, they simply can’t lend you the money. 

You avoid this whole awkward situation by looking into payday loans with no credit check. This will keep your finances separate from your partner’s. You can then pay back the loan when you get paid, avoiding any potential stress on your relationship. 

4. Check in with Each Other 

While it is smart to have these money talks when you first move in, you need to have regular check-ins with your partner. We know these talks can be uncomfortable, but it is necessary to ensure that you and your partner are on the same page. 

These regular check-ins can help hold you and your partner accountable. Especially if you are saving for something like a vacation, a new car, or a home. 

It is also important so that if one partner can’t pay their bills, the other partner won’t be blindsided by the additional expenses. 

5. Save for the Unexpected 

Putting money aside for emergencies is smart when you live alone, but now it’s even more important. Think of this as a way of saving for you and your partner’s future. 

By saving together you are working as a team towards both of your futures. This savings fund can do two things. 

If one of you experiences an emergency, it will ease the pressure on both of you. You can also use these savings toward a future for both of you. This could be a vacation, wedding, home, or children. 

6. Don’t Split Big Purchases 

It may be tempting to start pooling your money for everything. This can be a mistake when it comes to big ticket items in the home. 

Instead, decide who will buy the new bed or couch. In the event that you separate, it will be easier to divide up the items in the apartment. Whoever paid for it gets to keep it. 

7. Be Honest 

The most important thing you and your partner can do when financial planning for your apartment is to be honest with each other. This means letting your partner know about your student loan or credit card debt. 

You should know what their approach is to finances. Are they a spender or a saver? This probably isn’t a deal breaker for moving in, but you should be aware of what their style is when it comes to budgeting money. 

8. Put It in Writing 

Putting your agreement in writing doesn’t sound sexy or fun, but you’ll be happy you did if you ever need to reference it.

When you move in together you are blinded by love. Everything looks rosy and happy with you and your partner agreeing. But if disagreements ever arise or your relationship turns sour, you’ll be happy you have the initial agreement in writing. 

You can then reference it to help resolve any disagreements. 

First Apartment

Moving in with your significant other isn’t like living with a roommate. There is a lot more to talk about than whose name the cable bill will go in. 

You and your partner need to sit down and have an open and honest conversation about your financial situations. From there you can decide how much each person will contribute to the monthly bills. 

By having these talks you will not only make living in your first apartment a success but also your relationship. 

Now that you live together, use these tips to establish some healthy long-term relationship goals