Should You Move In to Save Money?

July 30 2009, 10:11 AM
moving-boxes1It's always embarrassing when The Onion pokes fun at a trend that happens to represent exactly what's going on in your life. Case in point: Not too long after my boyfriend and I decided to cohabitate, The Onion released its "Nation's Girlfriends Unveil New Economic plan" video. (Which, incidentally, is hilarious.) This is the first time I've chosen to live with someone I love, and, frankly, the first time I've chosen to live with anyone in quite a few years. I'm a workaholic who loves "me time," and those things tend to bode well for living solo. But after we cruised through several years of our relationship, things started to get expensive---not just in terms of money, but also in terms of time and convenience. We would spend hours trying to coordinate busy schedules, drive countless miles to his house or mine to pick up forgotten hiking or running shoes, and stock two fridges with beers and snacks we both liked. The decision to move in, as we started to consider it, certainly did offer financial benefits, as well. We could live in his sunny two-bedroom a block from Sushi Den for so little that I could afford a separate music studio. But it challenged our respective upbringings. I was raised a penitent Presbyterian; he a guilty Catholic. It also seemed to signal some sort of change in our relationship, but neither of us knew exactly what that was. (Although friends and relatives are happy to fill in the blank. We've become experts at buffering the "When's the wedding?" question) In the end, finances didn't play a part in my decision, but the guilt-dissolving excitement of partnering even closer with someone who is equally fun and supportive did. We're currently making the most of tripping over my boxes of high school memorabilia by cheekily planning our "living in sin" housewarming party. And I've realized that while this decision has made my life more affordable, I much prefer the perspective that I've finally reached a point in my life that I'm ready to share the everyday moments with someone else.