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Moving in with a partner for the first time? Here's exactly what you need to know.

Bupa
Thanks to our brand partner, Bupa

So, you’ve found a keeper and they’re busy setting up permanent residence in your heart and mind. They’re living rent-free in your head, so to speak, and you’ve decided it’s time you took things a step further and started paying real rent, together!

My partner and I have been together for almost ten years, and decided to take the moving plunge together about four years in. 

Well actually, our first step was to test the waters and bunk together for four months, house-sitting my aunt's place while she was travelling.

Once we knew we could co-exist happily, then we made the actual leap and sought our own lease to sign for our very first rental together. 

It’s a big deal to move in with a partner for the first time, throwing your lot together and facing all of life’s challenges under one roof. 

Sure you can learn by experience, but a little heads-up never goes astray, so here are some pointers to help you prepare for the unexpected.

Image: Supplied. 

Money

Let's face it, no matter how badly it gives you the ick, talking about money with your significant other and soon-to-be housemate is absolutely necessary. 

I’m lucky to be on the same page (fiscally speaking) with my partner, but you might not be, and that's okay! 

My experience is that if you learn how to talk about it, and start opening a line of communication around the subject, you’ll save yourself confusion in the long run. 

Make it fun, turn it into a date or reward yourself with some takeaway when you first broach the subject. 

This can help it feel less scary and loosen up the vibe for a subject that has so much baggage. 

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The reality is that before you move in, you’ll need to make some concrete decisions about money. 

How will bills be divided? How are you paying bond? Are you combining bank accounts? 

Something that was really helpful for us was opening a low fee, joint everyday bank account before we moved in, and having rent and utilities all come out of that account. 

That way you can contribute equally and it's easier to keep track of all those things as they are all coming out of one dedicated place! 

Opening a joint account is easy and most banks will let you apply online pretty quickly, just make sure to have all your usual details on hand (passport, driver's license, Medicare card etc).

Housekeeping

Enjoy buying stuff? Got a knack for assembling furniture? Well, you’re in luck because moving in together will have you doing loads of both. 

Before you move, you’re going to want to figure out what you want your home to look like and who's bringing and buying what stuff before you move. 

Does one of you already have a suitable bed? Sorted! Need a new fridge? No dramas, guess we’ll transfer some cash to that joint account and go shopping.

Also, you’ll need to have a clear idea of who's bringing what and, importantly, who's doing what around the house. 

Division of labour is an ongoing conversation, but something that has helped us is having a clear idea of who takes care of what tasks.

Hot tip, if you are able to divide chores so that the things you are naturally inclined to do anyway become your responsibility, you’ll make your life a lot easier. 

Also, it sounds simple, but having something like a whiteboard where you can write and keep a track of things that need to be done can help avoid annoying miscommunications. 

Image: Supplied. 

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Social stuff

Now, this is something we didn’t talk about before moving in, and in hindsight, we probably should have. 

That's the point though, it’s not something you really think about.

Do you and your partner have different social orientations? Maybe one of you is more about that random friend popping in for a coffee kind of vibe, and maybe for one of you, the idea of unexpected social visits is a vomit-inducing nightmare.

That’s the case for my partner and me, and it’s really helpful to know. 

Consider talking about this, and getting some clarity around it. Like, is it okay with you both to invite friends over without notice, or is it really important to one of you that there is a decent heads-up? 

Does your partner want notice for any sort of visitor or are really close friends and family fair game for a more spontaneous catch-up? 

There are no right and wrong answers here. It’s all about that sweet communication!

Health and wellbeing

This might be the part you want to avoid the most, but trust me, avoiding the grown up stuff will just come back and bite you in the butt. So crack open a bottle of wine (just make sure you discuss during your first glass!) and get down to business.

Some things to find out are, do either of you have a preferred GP in the area? Do either of you have specific medical needs? And do either of you have private health insurance? 

If one of you (or both) don’t have insurance yet, it could be worth deciding on a plan together, to save you money down the line in case anything unexpected pops up, and to make sure you’re both prioritising your health.

Bupa provides cover to suit any needs, and they have a variety of options for young couples. You can get Extras from under $3.50 a week, which fits in to even the most stringent budget.

Moving in with your partner is such an exciting time, but like any big life change, it’s worth having these big conversations before you make the move. 

For the sake of your happiness (and potentially your relationship!) broaching these topics is totally worth it.

Whether you need the basics or more comprehensive cover, Bupa has a range of options to tailor the right health insurance package for you.

Join Bupa or get a quote here.

Freedom 50 Extras including base tier rebate for a Single as aged <65. Waiting periods may apply.

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

Bupa
Bupa offers cover for all stages of life. Almost 4 million Australians trust Bupa with their health insurance and you can too! Why wait to get covered? Join Bupa today. Because life happens. To find a cover right for you visit: www.bupa.com.au/health-insurance/join-bupa