In 2018, Australians in their 20s and early 30s are just as likely to be living separately or at home with their parents because of the housing cost in capital cities. Share-house living still happens, but there’s nothing like making that commitment and deciding to give living together as a couple a shot.
So, what makes people move in together, and what baggage – both literally and figuratively – do people bring with them? Stable Research recently interviewed our Soapbox Panel about some of the burning issues that couples face when they take the big leap and move in together. Here is what we found.
Moving in together is all about commitment
At 73%, the large majority of respondents felt that moving in with a partner was a serious decision that should be seen a step towards further commitment. Nearly 20% said that it was a way of trialling their relationship and only 2% felt it should only happen once they were engaged or married.
Fully joint bank account not popular at all
Only 6% said they should have one joint account where both people contribute all of their earnings. Just over half of those who responded felt that having a joint bank account to cover expenses like utilities, rent and food was a good idea. A further 36% said that money should be kept separate and then they can come to an agreement about who will pay for what expenses.
The what, why and how of spending money
Just over 30% of respondents said what they spend on themselves is up to each individual to decide. The same percentage of respondents said they would expect their partner to have the same principles about spending and saving, while 22% said it was important to have an agreed budget prior to moving in.
Equality rules with household chores
58% of couples said they agree on a plan that equally shares the load and 23% let their partner do the chores they like. Less than 5% were willing to pay for a cleaner to do the tasks that neither wanted to do and only one person felt that one person should be responsible for all the chores.
Not much sentimentality about furniture
Only 7% of respondents said they wanted to bring along furniture because it had sentimental value. 46% said they would need to discuss and agree what to keep and what to throw out, while 21% wanted to keep whatever they could. 24% said it would depend on the new dwelling and whether it would fit or suit.
Deciding on where to live
Affordability of the location was only important to 16% of couples. The vast majority of respondents felt that it was a choice they would make together at 75%. Under 5% of respondents said they would move in with their partner if they already had a property.
Friends & family
Most couples were not keen on keeping friends separate and seeing them separately at 4%. The majority said they agree on who they want to socialise with as a couple or by themselves at 65%. Over a quarter felt that both partners should be included in all friend invites.
When it comes to family, 70% said that they expected their partner to attend most events with them. Under 15% didn’t feel that their partner needed to spend time with their family and just under 10% said that this is something that should be agreed upon before moving in together.
Parties & celebrations
More than half of respondents said that their new home would be open to all and guests would be welcome. 32% said it would depend on the location and whether there would be an issue with noise and 8% said that they would always have time to party!
The past – full disclosure required especially when it relates to debt or windfall
83% expected their partner to disclose anything that impacted their future and 29% wanted to know about past relationships that were meaningful. Past issues with family and anything that friends may bring up were also important to 42% and 30% respectively. 42% said that disclosure about any debts or windfalls was also important.
Sharing the news| Tagging & sharing moments on social media
57% of couples said that it was fun to share about their relationship on social media and they felt free choose what they would share. Over a quarter said they would tag their partner in posts and less than 10% said they would keep their social media private from their partner.
Does trust extend to social media passwords?
While there was not a huge difference between those that would and those that wouldn’t share passwords, ‘no’ came out on top for Facebook (50%), Instagram (39%), Twitter (33%), Snapchat (38%) and Email (46%). Under 10% of respondents answered they would “absolutely not” share passwords across all platforms, including email.
Over 300 people responded to this Stable Soapbox survey and most were in their 20s and 30s. Rather than moving in as a married couple, we can see that most people consider living together as a sign of commitment, preferring to give co-habitation a try before signing on for life.