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Moving in together after marriage can be a big transition. If you spent months planning the wedding, you may not have thought about the changes that come after the excitement of the big day has died down and your honeymoon is in the rearview mirror.
If you are a couple who lived together before marriage, you are not alone. According to The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, more Americans are moving in together before marriage, but there are still some things you may want to consider about sharing domestic life after marriage.
Instead of focusing on the negatives and constraints for couples who have taken that leap toward the arc of commitment, we are sharing some helpful tips on how to successfully cohabitate with your partner..
In this post, we’ll discuss:
- Advantages Of Living Together Before Marriage
- 5 questions to ask before moving in together
- Our additional tips on moving in together
Should you stay or should you go?
Whether you lived together before or decided to wait until marriage to move in together, you will need to decide where to live. Are you going to stay in your current place or buy a home together?
Many couples prefer to rent and then buy a house after they have gotten married. Two incomes can go a lot further on a mortgage than one. And, if you are planning to start a family right away, having a larger home you can grow into will be an easier transition than searching for a place when a baby is on the way.
Plus, it is often easier to move into a new “blank slate” to start your new life as a married couple with all the cool gifts you got from your wedding registry.
Let’s talk about money
It may be awkward at first, but you should always discuss finances before moving in together or getting married. Before signing an apartment lease or buying a house, you and your partner should come up with a game plan and determine if you will combine your incomes or divide expenses.
What may have worked when you were dating or living together may not be the best situation for a married couple. There are several scenarios to consider.
Some couples prefer to share one bank account. Others prefer to keep everything separate. Some compromise by having a house bank account and their own personal accounts.
What will work best for you depends on your situation and personal preferences. It’s important to have a plan before your wedding day and work towards it together.
The next step is to create a budget to ensure all of your bills are covered each month. Some couples like to set up a joint savings account to tuck away extra cash for vacations or large purchases.
You can accumulate a lot of stuff living alone. If you and your spouse are moving to a new home together, you may have to combine your household items. Decide who has the best furniture to keep or which pieces work with each other. Plan to donate all of the items you no longer need to a local charity.
If you had a wedding gift registry, you may have gotten new appliances to replace your old ones. If you are not married yet, consider what you need when you make your gift registry!
And don’t be afraid to let go of things you have had forever. If you have not used it or worn in over a year, you probably do not need it anymore.
Who does the dishes?
No one really likes to do household chores, but they have to be done. Are you going to divide up tasks or take turns? Can you afford to hire someone to clean your home weekly or monthly?
Having a plan in place for tackling chores can save a lot of arguments over dishes left in the sink. If one of you prefers yardwork over scrubbing the floors, split up duties based on your interests.
Even if you don’t split up all the chores (especially when it comes to unexpected messes), you will have a plan in place for tackling daily or weekly tasks. Knowing your partner is covering one area while you cover another can keep resentment at bay.
Growing your family
For some couples, the next step after marriage is growing your family. (Or, at least, that’s what your mother might ask.) As a couple, you have probably discussed what your future holds. Are you going to have children? Do you want them sooner rather than later? Knowing what you want your family to look like in five or 10 years will help in finding the right home or planning your finances.
Maybe children are not in the cards. Do you want pets? If so, you will still need to consider where you live and the financial aspect of having pets.
Keep the spark alive
When relationships are new and exciting, there is no need to maintain the spark. The spark is already there and hotter than a firecracker on the 4th of July. After getting married, it is natural for the spark can start burning low, but the two of you need to make more of an effort to keep things exciting with these ideas.
Choose certain nights to be date nights. Plan fun day trips. Or sign up for a meal subscription so you can make dinner together a couple of nights a week. It’s necessary to make this a point of discussion because it’s easy to get in the habit of chilling on the couch while the two of you doze off to Netflix.
Communication is key to a successful relationship, and being able to communicate efficiently is essentially the biggest key to having a happy marriage. Each of our tips involves talking openly about the areas of your life impacted by getting married. It is important to keep the lines of communication open on all levels—even if it’s just deciding on what to have for dinner.
Better conversations lead to more satisfying marriages than those just consisting of one person talking at their significant other all day long (or night).
Deciding to move?
When you are ready to move to a new home, this list of steps helps makes the process easy:
- Complete all your budgeting work
- Find a place that fits your price range
- Ask friends about the location and to know what the people are like. Is it a fun place? Quiet? Do other friends live nearby?
- Tour the unit or home and the surroundings to ensure it is safe and what you imagined
- Set up a move-in date with your new landlord
- Use our moving guide step by step. It covers everything, including what utilities to set up.
Lastly, here is a quick guide on tips for comparing moving company quotes that might help with your budgeting.
Best of luck to both of you!
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