Monday, November 21, 2011

Living together: romantic, or frugal?

While I was living in NYC, I knew quite a few young couples who lived together. Some of these couples were engaged, some became engaged while I knew them, some were and are far off from engagement, and some are even seeking ways to end these long-term relationships.  Whatever the case may be, there was always a part of me that was jealous of the girls who lived with their boyfriends. Not because I was in any sort of rush to live with a boy - I've spent most of my life living with boys in the form of my brothers or friends in co-ed college dorms and learned a few things which can basically be summarized by saying: boys are smelly. I'm also a bit old fashioned and want to save what I feel is a very important stage in a relationship for marriage.

So why, then, was I jealous? HELLO. I lived in Manhattan and spent two thirds of my itty bitty salary on rent. Girls who live with their boyfriends get to live comfortably in one bedroom apartments for half the price. Cha-ching!

Reflecting on the frugality of such an arrangement definitely led me to wonder if a few of the co-habitating couples I knew made the decision to move in together based on financial over romantic reasons and therefore ran the risk of rushing the sharing-lives-process -- I mean, it would have to be tempting, right?


Turns out, I'm not the only person who has wondered about frugality trumping romance, the U.S. Census agrees, according to this interesting article, which also states that 7.5 million unmarried couples lived together in 2010. That's 15 million moms shaking their heads. Kidding!

The other element to be aware of if co-habitating is the possible legal implications should you choose to end the arrangement - breaking the lease early, divvying up larger joint purchases, handling your partner's possible debt or credit issues...although it's not marriage, moving in with a romantic partner is a lot different than just having a roommate that likes to cuddle more than the sorority sister you've been rooming with since college! Therefore, an appropriate amount of attention and care should be taken in considering when your relationship is ready for such a tremendous step.


What do you think? Is moving in together a wise financial choice? Would you move in with a significant other to cut costs? Would you rather wait until you had to marriage?

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