4 Financial Rules for Cohabitating Couples

Financial Rules for Couples

Cohabitating Smartly and Safely

A lot of people are choosing not to get married these days. Whether it’s because they don’t believe in marriage, can’t legally get married, or because they’re divorced and don’t want to get married again, some people are opting to cohabitate with their significant others and not take a stroll down the aisle. If that’s you, congratulations on finding a love so strong that you want to share space and build a life and home together! But what would you do if that love went south? Have you taken the necessary steps to protect yourself and your money if your love goes awry?

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I know it’s not fun to think about breaking up with someone you’re in love with, but unless you’re one of the lucky ones, there’s a good chance it could happen. It’s bad enough when love comes to an end; you don’t want to also be fighting over your furniture, your money or even your pets because you were cohabitating! Here’s how to protect yourself.

Don’t Share Bank Accounts

There’s no rule that says couples in love have to share bank accounts, and that’s especially true if you aren’t married. Whatever bills each of you is responsible for, get them in your own names and pay them out of your individual bank accounts. That way, if and when you break up and the cohabitating ends, you can pay off what you owe, close the account and move on.

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Don’t Buy a Car Together

In some cities, having a personal mode of transportation feels like a necessity, but if you can’t afford a car on your own, think twice about buying a car with your cohabitating partner. If that car is in your name, you’ll be stuck with the payments if your partner leaves. Consider buying cheaper transportation or taking public transportation instead.

Don’t Buy Furniture Together

Your new apartment needs new furniture, right? Well before you head over to Ikea with your love for new furniture, consider buying pieces separately. Let them pay for the couch and you can pay for whatever else equals the cost of the couch. If you break up, you get to take what you paid for.

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Don’t Buy a Pet Together

Adopting a furry friend and caring for it together may seem like a great idea when you’re in love, but what happens when you break up? Are you going to split the care of that pet or are you going to let your partner take the pet away from you and destroy the loving bond you’ve built with that animal? Consider getting two pets—one belongs to you and the other to your partner, so if you’re no longer cohabitating, at least each of you gets a pet to take with them.

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Your Name, Your Problem

When you’re in love, sharing everything seems really romantic, but when the love ends, so does the sharing. Whatever has your name on is your responsibility, whether it’s a lease on an apartment, the electric bill or a car. That means you’re responsible for making payments whether you and your partner are together or not. How terrible would it be to get stuck with all the bills once your relationship ends? Your credit and your bank accounts could suffer! That’s why it is always important to protect yourself financially, and have an intelligent escape plan if the relationship goes awry.

One thought on “4 Financial Rules for Cohabitating Couples

  1. Ken

    Very interesting topic, wish I could have known this when I got married.Woud have had a lot more money today.

    Ken.

    Reply

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