Financial literacy: When Living Together Means Living Better
Are you thinking about moving in together?
This decision might be an opportunity to improve your financial situation by combining your income and expenses and doing some long‑term planning.
Advantages of a relationship
Being a couple is bound to have an impact on your income and expenses. Living under the same roof is much less expensive than living alone. You can save a great deal on the costs of electricity, heating, telephone, Internet, groceries and automobiles.
Have a frank discussion
Before you combine your finances, it is important to talk to your future spouse to get a better idea of your spending habits, income, debts and savings. Discuss the possibility of opening joint accounts (chequing or savings) to cover your essential household expenses or to save money. You might also choose to keep a personal account for your other expenses. Whatever choices you make, you should agree on how your joint accounts are to be used, and the amounts you will each deposit in them. Also take the time to assess your banking habits and make sure that you have the bank accounts that meet your needs. It could help you save money.
Seek a balanced approach
Once you have agreed on the lifestyle you would like to have, you can draw up your budget to obtain an overview of your total income, your essential and non-essential expenses and your ability to save. You may not particularly enjoy drawing up a budget, but simply setting objectives, such as purchasing a house or condo and saving for your children’s education if planning to have a family, will motivate you to draw up your budget and, more importantly, to stick to it.
Source: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)