Moving in with a significant other is an exciting step for couples, but it comes with its own set of challenges that can make it seem like an intimidating milestone. For some people, this is their first experience living with another person, and when adding a relationship into the mix, you are sure to run into a few areas that will cause frustration. Below are some tips to make this new transition easier for you and your partner, and to get you prepped and ready for this next season of your relationship.
When it comes to talking finances, it can be tough to start a conversation about something you may not normally share openly with your partner. But talking about your financial health is key to knowing your current expenses and what you will need to budget for once you move in together. It also helps to know what type of housing you can currently afford, and what your joint price range will be before hunting for the perfect space.
You’ll need to discuss your current monthly expenses, any outlying debts or loans, and even your monthly habits as well. This can help to establish a budget before you move in together, and help to make sure your finances never become a cause of stress or anxiety, which could potentially put strain on your relationship. You can calculate how much of your monthly income needs to be put towards rent, groceries, and other necessary expenses (i.e. gas, utilities), and how much money you will have left over for date nights, unexpected expenses or for your hobbies and interests.
You’ll also want to discuss how you will split your contributions to monthly bills to accommodate for differing salaries and income. If one partner makes more than the other, it’s okay to find a balance that takes that into account. You also need to decide if you should live on a shared income or keep your finances separate. Click here for more in-depth methods and tips into how you can combine your finances with your partner.
Once you have your finances figured out, and have picked the perfect space to start this next chapter together, it’s time to start packing those boxes! This is a great opportunity to sort through your older belongings and get rid of some of the items you no longer use or need. There are so many ways to get rid of your old, tired furnishings. Do some research into local businesses that take in gently used furnishing and decor donations, or set up a garage sale. Make it fun, and have a little competition with your partner to see who can sell more. Then, you can use the extra money to put towards new home furnishings.
Maybe it’s time to let go of that old bedroom set, or invest in a new sofa. Don’t be afraid to invest in high quality items, as they will last you much longer and won’t show wear and tear as quickly. Sit down with your partner, and talk interior styles. You might have two very separate design tastes, but look to the World Wide Web for some inspiration. Pinterest and Instagram are great for finding interior design advice and tips, and can help you and your partner come to a consensus on the design style that will best reflect both your tastes.
Once you’ve chosen the right theme and have unpacked that mountain of moving boxes, you can buy that new high quality plush sofa you’ve been wanting, to tie your living room together, or maybe you have space to entertain guests around a new dining room table. Moving into an apartment may make it seem like interior design isn’t doable, but there are still ways to bring pops of color or decor elements into your space to make it your own, even if you are not allowed to paint the walls. Put up family photos or art that remind you both of adventures you have taken as a couple. Or you can decorate seasonally with fresh flowers to add some color and life to your new space.
Explore Your New Town
When you are finally settled in to your new space, it’s time to relax and explore around your new neighborhood or region. Use sites like Tripadvisor to find local hot spots, or to get an inside scoop on the best food and entertainment in the area. Or if you two are outdoorsy, you could find some local hiking trails to explore on the weekends. Make a point to try something new in the area as a couple, or maybe even take a few mini road trips to the surrounding areas. Peek into antique shops for more unique home decor options, or grab a bite at the best restaurant in town. You’ll be feeling like a local in no time!