Financial tips for moving in together

Financial tips for moving in together

When it comes to money, the fun stops – certainly also for couples in love. To avoid serious conflict, they should make a joint plan on how to handle finances in the partnership before moving in together.


Here the question arises, who signs the contract for the apartment – both or only one partner. If both sign, all rights and obligations under the lease apply to both of them. This means that the couple is jointly responsible for rent and damages and can only terminate the apartment together. In the case of separation this can become problematic. If one wants to keep the apartment, he must ask the landlord to continue the contract with him. The landlord must release the other from the contract. If the landlord does not agree, they both have to move out. If the contract simply continues to run, even though an ex-partner has voluntarily moved out, the latter remains liable.

If only one has signed, he or she can demand that the ex(s) move out in the event of separation. The same applies if one partner moves in with the other in the existing apartment – if there is no sublease or partner agreement. If one wants to move in with the other, the landlord must be asked for permission. As a rule, the landlord may not refuse.

Three-account model

As an alternative to an agreement on who pays what expenses from their account, a joint account has proven effective. From this, all current joint expenses for living, rent and insurance are settled. With an "or account" both can dispose of the account at any time. What makes sense in good times, however, can be risky in case of separation.

There are different variations for the three-account model: Both have a salary account and regularly transfer a fixed, equal amount to a joint account. It may be fairer if the sums transferred to the joint account are based on the respective salaries. For example, each could pay 25 percent of their net salary. It is also possible for both incomes to flow into the joint account. What remains is either saved or half transferred to individual accounts. This completely levels out a difference in income.

In order to avoid disputes and to keep track of one's expenses, it may be useful to keep a budget book, at least for the first few months. A classic household booklet can be ordered free of charge from Geld und Haushalt, the advisory service of the savings banks. Or you can use the "web budget planner," a free online.


If there are current insurance policies, consideration should be given to which can be combined and which should be cancelled in a timely manner. Partner contracts are offered with some insurance companies. For liability, household and legal protection insurance, couples can check which contract is the cheaper one. As a rule, the younger one can be terminated without any problems. But it or a new policy may offer better benefits. Then consider giving notice and canceling the worse contract or both contracts.

In the case of household insurance, the insurance company should be notified of the new size of the apartment after the move and, if necessary, the value of the items should be re-estimated. Otherwise, there is a risk of underinsurance.

Couples can save on car insurance, too. Some car insurers offer cheaper deals if the co-insured driver lives with the insured.

Other contracts

What applies to insurance policies also applies to other contracts, such as for energy or internet. Energy contracts can usually be terminated with six weeks' notice in the event of a move. If the supplier can continue the contract at the new address under the old conditions, it may make an offer for continued supply. This needs to be adopted. If you have an appropriate offer from both partners' providers, the couple has a choice.

Internet contracts can be terminated within one month if the provider cannot provide the same service at the new place of residence. Other contracts – from a streaming account perhaps even to a gym – can be shared as well. The broadcasting fee also only has to be paid once.

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