Often, couples move in together before getting married. This makes household management easier for them as a married couple. They already know how to divide chores and manage their bills and time.
But more millennials are choosing to live with their parents now instead of their significant others. As of July 2020, 52% of millennials lived in their parents’ homes, from 47% in February of the same year. The pandemic was the primary reason millennials moved back into their childhood homes. It shows that they find it harder than ever now to be independent. If they get married, will their struggle with independence affect their married life?
To prepare yourself for marriage, here are the things to expect when you move into your marital home:
Chores take up a considerable chunk of household management. If you barely did chores in your parents’ home, you might get overwhelmed doing them in your marital home. You should do some chores every day, every week, every month, and every year. The seasons also determine which tasks you should prioritize.
Daily chores include:
- Preparing meals
- Feeding the pet/s
- Washing the dishes
- Cleaning bathroom/s
- Doing the laundry
Some people vacuum and do the laundry weekly instead of daily. But if you have a pet, their dander and fur would gather everywhere, requiring you to use the vacuum every day. On the other hand, doing the laundry tends to be more manageable as a weekly than a daily chore. But that depends on what you and your spouse will agree on.
Weekly chores include:
- Mowing the lawn
- Weeding the garden
- Taking out the trash
- Mopping floors
- Washing bedding
- Washing the car
- Bathing the pet/s
Every month, you may:
- Wash windows
- Clean the fridge
- Change air filters
- Clean the blinds or curtains
Lastly, every year, you should:
- Deep-clean carpets
- Winterize your home
- Clean your garage
- Prune trees and shrubs
The bigger your home, the harder it can be to complete your chores. You and your spouse should divide chores fairly — not equally — to make the tasks manageable. To reach an agreement without arguing, list down your daily schedule. If you go home earlier on the weekdays, volunteer to prepare your meals. And every weekend, one or both of you has to do the laundry. You can also make chore assignments into a game. Create a “chore jar” where the chore you’d perform is the one you draw from the jar.
Repairs and Maintenance
To keep your home in good shape, you’d deal with a handful of repairs and maintenance. You can DIY some, such as fixing a leaky pipe, fixing a clogged drain or garbage disposal, replacing a faucet, installing a light bulb, and fixing a running toilet. But sometimes, those repairs can be too tricky for a non-pro. Installing light bulbs, for example, is mostly safe if it’s just lamps or basic ceiling lights you’re dealing with. But if it’s a chandelier, pendant light, or wall-mounted lights, you should call a licensed electrician.
Some plumbing issues require the help of a reputable plumbing company, too. Installing fixtures may be easy to learn, but it’s time-consuming and prone to mistakes if you’re not a pro.
Now that you and your spouse live in your own home, you’d pay all the bills together. This could be the time when you start appreciating how easy it has been when you lived with your parents. Back then, you used your AC mindlessly, left the tap on while brushing your teeth, and watched Netflix all night.
This time, you’d be a lot more conscious in using your electronics and consuming services. Groceries alone can be expensive, so how will you pay for internet and utilities?
Budgeting is key. It will save your marriage from money issues that could break you apart. But before creating a budget, be honest with each other about your spending and saving habits. It will help you decide whether managing your money jointly or separately will work better. Separate accounts help avoid arguments, but you can lose out on the best way to support your family. A joint account, on the other hand, can lead to conflicts if your spending habits clash.
If you want separate accounts, divide your bills as well. Maybe you can shoulder groceries while your spouse shoulders utilities. When you start having kids, plan out a new strategy again because their needs will affect both of your savings.
Managing a marital home isn’t easy, but it can be rewarding and even fun, seeing that you and your spouse are making a warm home together. See the beauty in every moment, and you’ll enjoy a peaceful and happy marriage.