Sharing More Than Just a Bed
A quiz that makes you consider the financial risks of moving in together
I moved in with my boyfriend last week with the gusto of a summer hurricane. We get along fantastically. We share similar interests — antiquing and old furniture, politics, organic wineries — the list goes on. I have to admit, when I saw the headline of this
US News & World Report quiz, Are You Ready to Move in Together? I figured I’d pass with flying colors. Alas, this was a loveless test, designed to foil even the most doting couple.
Its premise: Living together requires similar spending habits. This quiz has nothing to do with toothpaste choice or which radio station to wake up to each morning. According to the quiz’s author, Kimberly Palmer, you and your partner must be on the same financial wavelength to make the partnership work over the long-term.
So I took the six-question quiz, hoping to get the maximum number of points (six) and the judgment reserved for those who have taken all the necessary financial precautions: “Have fun shacking up.”
But this didn’t happen. In fact, the results were dim (I got two points out of six), making me question whether I jumped too fast into cohabitation. But to be fair, these questions were hard! Asking your Significant Other to open a shared bank account before marriage is akin to picking food out of your teeth on a first date. Hygiene, like finances, is too personal to be shared so soon.
Another question that stumped me: Could you name your partner’s top financial goal and describe where he wants to be financially in five years? This one was tricky: I knew exactly where I wanted him to be, tax-bracket and otherwise, in five years. We’d have two kids, a summer home and everything else a girl wants. But those aren’t financial goals – they’re wants. Financial goals are – and should be – about how much we’re putting away for retirement, savings and college funds. Not a fun conversation, but one that is necessary to have, at some point down the road. Just not today. I’m busy finding a place to put 25 pairs of shoes.