Does it Make Financial Sense to Move In With Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend?

Does_it_make_financial_sense_move_in_with_boyfriend_girlfriendWhether it’s after a few months or a few years, after a certain point in every relationship you’ll probably consider moving in together.  It’s a natural progression in most couples’ relationship and at this point, you’ll have to weigh the positives and negatives.  You will save on gas driving to each other’s houses, save on food cooking together, save on utilities, etc.  Financially, it sounds like a great move but is it the best thing for your relationship?

20 years ago it was somewhat uncommon to move in with your significant other before marriage, but today things have changed.  I have friends who’ve moved in with their girlfriend after just a few months!  There are definitely some drawbacks to moving in with your partner but I think financially it’s a very smart move.  Here are all the reasons I could think of why it makes sense to do it:

Save on Rent/Mortgage

Living by yourself is expensive but you can immediately cut your rent in half by living with another person.  It also affords you the option to upgrade to a nicer place since generally there isn’t a linear correlation between rent and square footage.  The cost per sq. ft tends to go down as you get a bigger place(ie a 1 bedroom 1000 sq ft will rent for $1,000 while a 2 bedroom 1500 sq ft may rent for only $1,300).

The deal gets even sweeter if you own your own place since you essentially become your girlfriend’s landlord.  Before I got engaged, I didn’t really have any problem charging my girlfriend rent since she used to pay $900/month when she lived with friends and now she only pays a little more than half that.  Although you’re legally required to pay taxes on that money, there are some pretty easy ways to get around it like having her pay for utilities and groceries instead of rent or having her pay a couple bills for you.  E-mail me if you have any questions :)

Shared Expenses

Rent or mortgage might be one of the most tangible savings but I think shared expenses is a close second.  Utilities like electricity, heat, internet and cable actually become more cost-efficient as the number of people using them goes up.  Unless you’re both downloading gigantic movie files at all hours of the day, these services won’t even be affected by another person.

Food/Groceries

One of my biggest budget items is groceries($300/month).  I like cooking big dinners and making extravagant lunches so I tend to spend a lot of money on food every month.  With two people in cohabitation, it allows me to cook all the same food but with less waste.  It’s a lot easier to make four servings than one.  That way, we each get a dinner and lunch or we can have leftovers for dinner the next night.  We both make some tasty food so the leftovers are always pretty good.

Save Time

No matter how much money you make, the one thing that will always be the same for you is the number of hours in a day.  Living with someone else can save you time since the number of chores stay the same, but the number of able bodies has doubled.  We generally take turns cooking dinner so that gives me a couple free nights a week where I can do whatever I want.  It’s also nice to trade off chores like taking out the trash, running the dishwasher and vacuuming.

Any Possible Financial Pitfalls?

Moving in together to save money probably isn’t the best reason to do so, but it should definitely be a part of the decision.  If you end up breaking up, things could get pretty awkward but I don’t think it will affect your wallet too much.  For renters, make sure to sign a lease that gives you the option to go month to month after the lease is up.  If things go awry before your one year lease is up, the worst thing that could happen is one of you will have to move out and one will remain behind.

It’s definitely harder to break up with someone once you’re living together.  I may be in the minority, but I actually like living with my fiancee.  It might be a different story if we had a smaller place but we have a nice setup with an office(when I’m using it)/crafts room(when she’s using it).

So as you can see, I’m all for moving in with your partner.  I think it makes a ton of sense in general and it’s nice that there are a bunch of financial benefits too.

Readers, how have your cohabitation experiences been?  Were the financial savings there or did you encounter more problems than it was worth?

-Harry @ PF Pro

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Hi, I'm Harry, the owner and head writer for Your PF Pro. I started this site back in 2011 in order to create a place where young professionals could come and get all of their financial questions answered. On the site, you'll find articles on everything from asset allocation for retirement to saving money at Chipotle! So enjoy..

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Comments

  1. says

    I have always had a clear talk before the move in to see who keeps the house if it is a shared rental, better to talk while you are still in love… My BF eats more than me, drinks more, is more wasteful with utilities (I mean, how long can you stare at the fridge?), and there are lots of expenses I wouldn’t do if we didn’t live together but the half mortgage makes up for all that. Not a 50% saving on living costs though.
    Pauline recently posted…What is your survival budget?My Profile

    • says

      Yea it sucks when you break up with someone that you’ve been living with but you’re right it’s more awkward than anything. Fortunately, I haven’t experienced that before and don’t intend to.

  2. says

    My rent is the same now as it was when I lived with roommates, but now I only SPLIT a room. So I definitely lost out on the square footage argument ;)

    But financially, it works for us. Especially when it comes to groceries since he does all the cooking! We split 50/50 on almost everything at this point and while some expenses are a bit higher, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    Danielle recently posted…What is $250, really? Why I’m not moving anytime soonMy Profile

    • says

      Ah you’re right. Sometimes that will happen if you go from living in a big house with 2-3 roomates to sharing with only one other person, but I’m sure it’s a lot cleaner now. If he does all the cooking, do you do all the cleaning?? Usually if I cook, my fiancee will clean and vice versa, love it!

      • says

        Actuallllly, my last place was cleaner!

        I generally do the dishes/kitchen cleaning when he cooks but the rest of the house is shared cleaning zone and let’s just say that I’ve seriously considered paying somebody to come in once a week, just to save us from fighting! :D

        Honestly, cleaning schedules, habits and routines are the hardest, longest things to get right. It can take years, even decades.
        Danielle recently posted…What is $250, really? Why I’m not moving anytime soonMy Profile

        • says

          Haha that’s a good idea actually. We both don’t like cleaning the house so it might be money well spent. I know I’d rather put in a little extra work at my day job and pay someone to clean for 4 hours!

  3. says

    Man, I need to direct my bf to this post to show that guys can and do cook! All kidding aside, I’ve experienced the financial advantages with sharing rent/mortgage, bills, etc. I definitely recommend communicating about how all things will be divided financially from the get go to hopefully avoid fights in the future (or, if something is bothering you, to talk about it right away rather than let it build up, but I guess that’s just Relationships Basics 101).

    • says

      Haha yea I love to eat so it makes it all that much better that I love to cook. You’re definitely right about doing things up front though. It might even help to write everything down so you both know you’re on the same page.

  4. says

    I see how the money savings could be there. The one area I would stay away from though is going into debt together before marriage. If there is a breakup that debt is going to be a mess to clean up and more than likely one person will get stuck paying the bill.
    Brian @ Luke1428 recently posted…Ways We Lie About MoneyMy Profile

    • says

      Good point Brian, I would never take one someone’s debt without being married first. If I’m married though, it’s a different story sometimes you can’t help falling in love with someone with a lot of debt or upcoming debt :)

  5. says

    Unromantic as it sounds, you probably should have a pre-move-in agreement, sort of like a prenup: Who gets dibs on what, and what is each person’s financial responsibility both in the relationship and should they decide to split up.

    One nice thing about moving in together: it’s a lot less expensive and less hassle to split up. A divorce can bankrupt you; exiting from an informal relationship is less likely to do so, largely because it doesn’t activate community property laws. And living together for a while can let you see whether it makes sense to get married. After a year of living together, I was very glad, indeed, that I hadn’t married Semi-Demi-Exboyfriend.

    Financially, though, it was great: he paid half my mortgage, which I carried on the books as rent. Turning my house into a rental property allowed me to deduct large parts of the repair and upgrade bills. This saved me a ton of money.
    Funny about Money recently posted…Warning: Toxic Cooking Utensils!My Profile

    • says

      Yea I like that idea. As others have mentioned, it’s a lot easier to agree on things like that when you’re in love. Not so much when you’re not.

      I think everyone should move in together before getting married, you can learn a lot about someone in just a month or two. And you’re right, there are some awesome financial benefits. I wonder if any single homeowners out there subconsciously ask their partner to move in earlier than normal to save some money on the mortgage. I KNOW I WOULD! haha

    • says

      Yea I really like other commenters suggestions of setting it all up beforehand while you’re still in love. Because it becomes really hard to agree on anything after it all goes sour.

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