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Moving In With a Partner? How to Seamlessly Merge Lives

By George Hadgelias

Moving in with a partner is exciting, but there may be some administrative tasks that need to be addressed pronto.

There are plenty of benefits that come with moving in with a partner. For one, you get to merge all your streaming subscriptions! But before you can settle in together, you need to have some important discussions about sharing your new lives, especially around finances.

Do you want to combine your health insurance?

Whether you’re moving to a new home together, or one person is moving in with the other, it’s a big change. As you combine your lives, you might want to think about combining your health insurance too.

You can streamline your private health insurance by taking out a couples policy, and maybe you’ll even feel warm and fuzzy when you see each other’s names on your insurance card.

HBF’s flexible extras actually let each member claim the way they want across a range of services. If one person wants to claim more for physio, they can knock themselves out and use more of their benefits on that. If the other needs to claim more on dental, the same flexibility applies.

It’s perfectly normal for couples to take out separate health cover policies too. In fact, taking out separate policies can be a good option for couples whose health needs or lifestyles are very different.

“Each of you should get cover that suits your needs,” Blake Delcanho, General Manager – Member Products and Propositions from HBF explains.

“For example, just because one of you needs services like physio, chiro and optical– and is willing to pay for extras insurance to cover it – doesn’t mean both of you should.

“You can think about risk, too. Maybe one of you plays a lot of sport, has a chronic condition or a family history of heart disease. No matter the situation, the best health insurance for you is the one that suits your needs.”

Whatever you decide, remember it’s about finding the right cover to suit you both, whether as a couple or individually.

Figure out how to pay the bills

Financial conversations are part and parcel of cohabitation. From paying the rent or mortgage, buying groceries or furniture, to splitting bills – there’s a lot to unpack.

Here are a few options if you need some assistance:

  • Ellie and Nat* have a joint bank account from which they pay any bills, mortgage repayments and direct debited fees (like shared streaming services).
  • Oli and Liam* took a more custom approach, deciding to split who paid what. While one person pays for car insurance, the other pays for health insurance. One pays utilities, other pays childcare, and so on. Their approach remains flexible as their individual incomes fluctuate.
  • David and Lauren* operate similarly to Ellie and Nat, but find it easier to use Splitwise – an app that helps you organise your bills and shared expenses.

Declutter your shared home

This is especially vital if one of you is moving into the other’s existing home. Sharing space for the first time can be difficult. If the space is overrun with one person’s belongings already, it gets even harder.

Both of you may need to start the long process of culling furniture, appliances and personal items to make space for each other.

“I had so many clothes!” Oli shares. “It was just impossible to keep all of them in the space we had, so I sold them on Facebook Marketplace and made a bit of extra cash actually!”

Buy new furniture

You may not need to buy new furniture, but it can help to anticipate the extra expenditure, especially if you’re moving into a bigger place.

“When we first lived together, I moved into Dave’s place, so everything was there. Then when we moved to a new place together, we had to invest in things like a coffee table, crockery and glassware and a spare bed,” Lauren shares.

However, there are ways to upgrade on the cheap. Lauren and David were quite lucky when it came to stocking their upsized abode.

“When we moved in together, we found friends and family donated us big-ticket items like our couch, dining chairs and table,” David says.

Set some expectations around cleanliness

Even the closest of couples can be surprised by their paramour’s habits. Most of these never get reflected upon or questioned until someone is in our home space asking us, ‘why don’t you hang up your clothes?’ or ‘why do you rinse everything before you put it in the dishwasher?’

To help solve potential squabbles, when Lauren and David moved in together they would hire a cleaner every now and then, a habit they carried over from living together in a share house. Eventually, they realised they didn’t need one and were able to eliminate this expense.

Do you need two cars?

Living in the city, Ellie and Nat found they didn’t really need two cars, so they sold one. This could be a viable option for many inner city couples without kids, especially if you live in an area where parking is a nightmare.

Alternatively, those with the drive to make a few extra bucks, may wish to hold on to the extra car but list it on a site like GoGet when they aren’t using it.

CLICK HERE for more information.

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