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5 things to discuss with your partner before moving in together

Picture this: you’re six, maybe 12 months into a relationship and things are better than great. They’re perfect. Your partner just gets you. You’re spending more nights together than you are on your own, and you start to wonder…should we move in together?

You might be thinking it’s time to get a place that you can both call home. But before you jump in and sign a lease (or a mortgage!) together, there are a lot of things to discuss to make sure you’re both making the right decision.

To help guide that conversation, here are five things to discuss before moving in with your partner.

1. Food, diets and cooking

During the honeymoon stage, you might be excited to cook for your partner, or you might be happier to splurge and treat your special someone to your favourite restaurants. But when you’re living together, the novelty of cooking elaborate meals may wear off. You’ll need to understand what you both expect in terms of cooking meals and ordering in, what food you want to eat regularly and how to divide cooking duties. Here are a few points to discuss:

  • How often do you and your partner prefer to eat out, and how much are you comfortable spending each month at restaurants?
  • What type of food do you each like to eat, and are there any preferences or dietary restrictions you need to know about each other?
  • If you love to cook, but your partner can’t stand it, will they take care of the dishes and cleanup?

2. Managing day-to-day household upkeep

Speaking of cleaning, it won’t go well if one of you always feels like they’re picking up after the other. We all have our idea of what’s considered ‘clean’ or ‘tidy’, but here are a few ways you can share the load:

  • Make a list of all the household chores – it can include everything from cleaning the kitchen, floors or bathroom to taking out the trash, doing laundry or even changing lightbulbs.
  • Agree on how often each item needs to be completed; for example, you might think the bathroom should be cleaned weekly while your partner feels monthly is just fine.
  • Divide the chores equally based on how long they take to complete and how often they need to be done, and consider the time you each have available. If you work part-time or from home while your partner commutes to work, you might be able to take on an extra chore or two to ensure you have more free time together.

3. Make sure your sleep and relaxation goals line up

Getting an adequate amount of rest every night is an essential part of our overall health and wellbeing. If one of you gets up early but the other stays up late, how will you balance that out?

  • Understand your partner’s work schedule, what time they generally wake up and go to bed.
  • Are they an early bird or a night owl? If you’re on opposite sleep schedules, you each need to be respectful of the other’s needs, and you might want a place with some extra space to act as a buffer between the bedroom and living room or office.
  • How do you relax after work? Some need a bit of alone time to recharge when they get home, while others want some time to gab and vent.

4. Talk money

It’s one of the most awkward conversations to have, but it needs to be had. And when you’re talking about finances, it’s best to put it all out on the table:

  • Create a budget. Include utilities, rent, groceries and even things like shared Netflix, Spotify or other subscription services.
  • Budgeting apps like MoolahMate, YNAB and Honeydue can help you set a budget and track your spending.
  • Figure out a way to fairly share those expenses. You can split them 50/50 or divide them based on income. For example, if one of you earns $60,000/year and the other earns $40,000/year, you could split them 60/40.
  • To increase transparency, so you both know that everything is paid, you may want to consider a shared bank account for joint expenses. If one of you prefers to manage the finances, the other can simply deposit their portion into that account each month.
  • Decide what you’ll each bring into the new home and what you want or need to buy together.
  • If one of you has a pet, how will you share those expenses? Beyond buying bags of dog food or fresh kitty litter, you should both understand if or how you’ll share bigger things like vet bills. It might be worth considering pet insurance for peace of mind. If you choose that route, BCAA Pet Insurance has flexible coverage options to fit your budget and and BCAA Members save 13.5%.
  • Talk openly about your savings goals. If you’re renting, do you plan to buy a home? How much do you save each month?

5. Be prepared for the unknown

Once you’ve discussed the above and signed the paperwork for your new home, you need to make sure you’re protected.

In the event of an accident, home insurance can help cover your home, your new furniture and the personal belongings you’re each bringing with you. And if you’re buying a home, home insurance may be required for the mortgage. Here are some things to keep in mind when buying home insurance:

Moving in with your partner is an exciting new adventure. Yes, there will be challenges, and you’ll both need to make compromises to make things work. However, when you find a good match, making sacrifices will make you stronger as a team. Talking openly about the topics listed here will smooth the transition and help you reach your shared goals together.


* BCAA Member savings on insurance products are only available with Basic, Plus, or Premier Membership plans. For full details, please visit
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