Drum roll please … I’m so excited to say that my friend, Josh, from Family Faith Finance was kind enough to share some insight on saving money with a spouse. There are some things that are easier to do when you’re in a marriage and others, like budgeting, can be significantly more difficult. If this is something you and your partner want to improve on, keep reading and be sure to check out Josh’s blog when you’re done to follow his family’s financial adventure!
Like many younger couples, my wife and I are on a budget. With three active young kids ranging from three to eight years old, student loans that we are almost done paying off, and a mortgage, we are always balancing our bills and looking for ways to save money.
It isn’t always fun to save money; splurging on a night on the town is generally more exciting than sitting down and figuring out how to . But the long-term payoff of saving money is its own reward, and by working as a team, we know that we can accomplish our goals.
There are a number of things that you can do together to save money as a couple, whether you are just dating, in a long-term relationship, or married. The key is that both partners have to be committed to the cause — and to of saving together. Here are some of our best tricks for saving money as a young couple.
Make it a (Friendly) Competition
While we don’t normally recommend competing against your partner, when it comes to saving money, it may actually be a good thing. Setting up a little friendly competition can actually be a good thing for your bottom line.
Depending on your goals and what you are trying to achieve, you can set up your competition in a number of ways. For example, if you are trying to cut out eating out, you can set up a competition to see who can go the longest without spending money on any food or drink at restaurants, fast food places, or convenience stores.
Though it’s a competition, don’t be afraid to help each other out. As a couple, you are in a better position to work together to pay down debt. , if one spouse has credit card debt and a lower credit score than the other, the other partner could step in and help refinance the debt to a lower rate. Generally speaking, married couples can take advantage of one’s credit score. It can help eliminate pesky debt for some couples and save money for the future.
Set the parameters, keep it light, and let your savings account be the ultimate winner.
Look for Budget Busters
When it comes to finding ways to slash money, you may find that you have a number of that are destroying your budget. From magazine subscriptions to cable bill add-ons to online media subscriptions, each of these $5 or $10 monthly charges can really add up over time.
Sit down with your partner and go over any of these expenses that pop up on your bills, bank or credit card statements. Determine if any of them are really necessary, and if not, eliminate them. My wife and I decided that we didn’t really need an extra cable box or DVR capabilities, for example, and easily cut $20 from our monthly cable bill. By making these simple changes, you can find big savings.
Find Cheap Fun
Having a good time with your partner doesn’t have to break the bank. After all, what attracted you to your significant other was presumably not their ability to take you on lavish dates — but their personality and your ability to have fun together.
You can continue to do just that on a budget, and save money in the process. Find things that you can do that don’t cost a lot, , like a picnic in the park, a free concert series, or a hike on a local trail. You could also cook dinner in, and watch a movie on Netflix, or host a potluck with friends.
My wife and I have even found that friends are willing to swap babysitting services so that we can all enjoy nights out that don’t break the bank. Come up with a number of options for free or cheap things to do in your area, and save money while keeping the romance alive.
Taking trips in the summer or throughout the year is often necessary to get a break from work or the everyday stresses of life. But going away doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money.
Brainstorm ways that you can save money on a vacation with your partner. It may mean going camping, and having fun in the great outdoors for a week. If camping isn’t your idea of a vacation, consider a Groupon for a more luxurious vacation. If you rent a house or apartment, you can cook or bring snacks instead of eating out or ordering in, which can save you quite a bit of money — and give you an opportunity to cook with local food.
and saving money as a couple can be challenging — but it can also be fun, and a great way to bond together over a shared goal. If you have a goal of saving money, talk to your partner about these and other things that you can do together to make it happen.
About the Author: Josh runs a parenting, faith, and personal finance blog over at Family Faith Finance. As the father of 3 children, he is always looking for ways to save a few extra bucks for his family.