When you and that special someone decides to make a big purchase together, this is a pretty huge moment! It’s not just about spending the money but about sharing your dreams and plans for your future.
But when it comes to money, especially with a joint purchase, there are some things you’ll need to know so you can make it a smoother experience.
Talk It Out
Before anything else, we’re talking way before you actually buy the expensive thing; sit down together and thoroughly talk about it. Make a pros and cons list and really discuss the reasons behind your big purchase. Are you looking for a new car because you’re planning lots of fun road trips, or is it a necessity due to a long work commute?
And if this big purchase happens to be a house, is it because you need more space, found your dream home, or are you looking for an investment opportunity? We aren’t telling you not to buy the pricey thing, just communicate about it before you do it!
Make a Money Plan
Budgets aren’t just random numbers; they’re your future in numerical form, so think about what you earn, what you save, and what you’re willing to go without if you need to cut back on spending.
Most importantly, be honest with yourselves about what you can afford. This is the point where you decide if that shiny new thing is worth giving up your annual vacation, extravagant dinners, or those overpriced hobbies.
A good approach is to picture yourself on a deserted island and can only have a few essentials—that’s exactly how you should create your must-have list for your big purchase. Maybe you need a more expensive car with better gas mileage or a home that’s closer to work. These are your deal-breakers—agree on these, and you’ll avoid any buyer’s remorse or regret!
You wouldn’t buy cheese without checking the expiration date, right? Of course not. Apply that same grocery shopping logic here. Do your homework when it comes to comparing prices, reading reviews, and talking to people who’ve made similar purchases. Information is power, and it’s what will get you the best bang for your buck.
Read the Fine Print
Those long contracts with the itsy bitsy text can hide some pretty big “gotchas.” This is where you find out if there’s a catch to that “great” warranty or what happens if your new washer and dryer call it quits. So put on your readers (or get a magnifying glass) and read every word!
Life is full of surprises, some good and some bad—and the bad ones usually come with a hefty price tag. Whether it’s a sudden repair or an unexpected move, having a stash of cash in your reserves for any big purchase means you’re ready for whatever life throws at you.
You Bought the Thing!
Once you’ve made that big purchase together, take a moment to revel in the moment and celebrate your achievement. But after the champagne cork is popped and you’ve clinked glasses, sit down and make a plan. Who’s in charge of making sure bills get paid? What’s the plan for regular maintenance? Figuring it all out now means fewer hiccups or headaches later on down the road.
When You Disagree
It’s completely normal to disagree, but how you handle it can make or break your relationship—and your big purchase. Actively listen to each other’s concerns and remember that this is about both of you moving forward, not just one of you getting what you want.
Buying a House Together: The Ultimate Partnership Test
We feel like if the big purchase is a house, we need to give you some more guidelines, as it is not for the faint of heart! A house isn’t just a price tag; it’s property taxes, repairs, and so much more.
You have to recognize and understand all the costs involved and what you can really afford—that way, you won’t be blindsided by the extra zeroes that come with being a homeowner.
First off, why do you want to buy a home? Is it because you’re looking for stability, or are you ready to plant some roots? Maybe you see a house as a stepping stone to financial growth or as an investment. Knowing the “why” sets a crystal clear path forward.
So, if that big purchase is a house, be prepared for a whole different ball game.
- Why a House?: Really think about why you want a house with your partner. More room? A place to call your own? This helps when choosing the right one.
- Money Matters: A house is probably the biggest thing you’ll buy. So, know what you can afford, including all the extra costs like taxes and fixing things.
- The Perfect Place: Decide on the things you both need in a house. Location, size, a garden? Agree on these to make house hunting so much easier. Your perfect home should check the boxes that matter most to both of you. Maybe you need a big backyard for your dog or an office space for your startup. Find the non-negotiables and let the rest be flexible.
- Homework Wins: Learn about the area where you want to buy. Will the value of the house go up? What are the schools like? The more you know about where you’re buying, the better. Look at school districts, local businesses, and future construction plans.
- Saving for Rain: A house has its own set of surprise expenses. A rainy-day fund for the house will keep you afloat. Roof leaks, broken heaters, and other “fun” house surprises will pop up. Having a fund just for home-related emergencies means you’re not panicking when the unexpected happens.
Whether it’s a house, car, or something else that will significantly deplete your bank balance, making a big purchase together is both exciting and a responsibility. With some planning, communication, and a bit of compromise, it can be one of the best decisions you’ll make together.
And when it comes to buying a home, it’s not just about the space between four walls—it’s about building a life together within those walls.