In theory, living together is romantic—no more schlepping clothes and toothbrushes back and forth between homes. But in reality, it can quickly turn into a financial nightmare, especially if you and your partner have different spending habits and, in the worst case scenario, end up breaking up after sharing furniture, a house, and perhaps even a dog.
To help you decide if you're ready to take your relationship to the next level, take this Alpha Consumer quiz. (You can find more tips on getting along financially with your new roommate here. You can also take previous quizzes on whether you're ready to get married or have a baby.)
Explanation of points:
0 to 2 points: Financial advisers would recommend that you get better prepared before moving in together. If talking about money feels awkward, go to a coffee shop or somewhere else "neutral" before broaching the subject. Financial Infidelity author Bonnie Eaker Weil suggests avoiding criticism of your partner's financial decisions and instead focusing on expressing your own concerns without judgment of the partner's decisions.
3 to 5 points: You're on your way to a healthy financial relationship. You may want to consider taking it to the next level by getting more details, perhaps in writing, about what would happen to your home and belongings if you were to break up with your partner. Financial advisers say it's much easier to have this discussion at the start of the relationship than at the end.
6 points: Have fun shacking up—you've taken all the necessary (financial) precautions.
How did you score on the quiz? Our friends at Betty Confidential want to know.