Financial questions you need to ask before moving in together

Image: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

As the saying goes: “fall in love, but take your brain with you”, so take time and think about how moving in with your man may affect your finances. Below are major questions to ask if you are in it for the long haul.

What’s his attitude towards money like?

His financial history is very important and sets the tone of how things will be when you share expenses with him. Financial advisor Michele Benatar, says how your partner was raised can have an affect. “For instance, someone who grew up with everything can have a sense of entitlement and not know the value of money or how hard it is earning a living. Such people can have an immature approach to cash and live day-to-day with no consideration. Similarly, Benatar says if he grew up in a household where money was tight he might become more of a spender.

Benatar warns women to look out for character traits in a partner as they determine how he handles his finances. “His money attitude says a lot. If he’s greedy he may accumulate money but may not care for you and the kids after his death; or if you get divorced, he will start moving assets around. On the other hand, an irresponsible person might spend recklessly and forget things like kids’ education. So it’s on you to be responsible,” she explains.

How much does he earn?

Having the conversation about how much you both earn may be difficult, but how are you to know for sure if you don’t speak about it?

Financial advisor Monique Olivier says, “These days, it’s very unlikely that only one person will be a sole provider. It’s therefore important to ask questions about your partner’s income and their monthly financial responsibilities to establish if they’re able to help support the household, and whether you’re both living beyond your means. Financial instability is one of the greatest conflicts of modern relationships.”

Relationship expert Boitumelo Moloto, warns: “Do not assume your partner’s pocket by the assets and lifestyle he has. He might be drowning in debt,” she adds. “While dating, couples will more or less have impressions of the other’s financial situation, usually based on their lifestyle. For example, the car the person drives, their living condition, type of job and company they work for, etc. That may be deceiving because a person could be paying huge debt to maintain a particular lifestyle.”

What’s his credit score?

Knowing his credit score might not seem important until you want to buy big assets like property together. Then what? His bad debt impact his credit score and in turn may affect your future plans.

Olivier advises that couple should, “keep in mind that co-habitants are now able to apply for bonds and other credit accounts, and both applicants’ income and credit score is taken into consideration for application purposes. It’s therefore important that you are aware of what your partner’s credit score is, and how this might restrict you when applying for future credit.”

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