Couples often live together before getting married. In fact, about 70% of them do. That’s plenty of couples who may acknowledge a coupon can save them money. If you believe in saving, know there are effective strategies. Read on to learn how to save for the long run.
Prepare an Emergency Fund
Many Americans don’t have enough money in their bank accounts to cover emergencies. Living check-to-check and struggling with debts or recurring bills make saving for emergencies even more challenging. Fortunately, you can save money with these tips:
- Cancel recurring subscriptions
- Set aside small amounts every month, at increasing increments
- Take public transportation or walk to cut down on fuel costs
- Purchase discounted goods and supplies
- Reflect on the dangers of not having enough money for emergencies
- Sell clothing, books, and electronics you don’t want
Pay Off Debt Early and Consistently
Unneeded expenses and high interest lead to an uncomfortable life. Consider two facts. Bankruptcies in the US have increased. In 2016, 24,797 companies filed in the first quarter. Reportedly, 25,277 filed in the second. You need to pay off debt consistently to avoid ending up the way these companies did. Here are some quick suggestions:
- Avoid spending more money than you earn
- Set up recurring payments for online accounts
- Plan for debt payments in advance
- Consider consolidating your debt
Agree to Share Financial Values and Priorities
According to Moneycrashers.com, money management tips work best when you and your spouse share values, beliefs, priorities, and goals. Right now, is it more important to save money for your child’s college fund or buy a new house? Will you both agree on using funds to donate to charity, or would splurging on luxuries be more rewarding? By sharing values and goals, married couples can:
- Save money by sticking to a budget
- Feel at ease knowing that financial decisions are already agreed upon
- Grow closer and improve their relationship
Not sharing the same financial beliefs, values, and priorities can cause resentment to build in the relationship. Resentment complicates finances while agreements keep financial decision-making running smoothly.
Know All of Your Expenses
According to a recent Consumer Expenditure Survey, two of Americans’ most common expenses were housing and food, totaling approximately $10,000 in spending. Additionally, many Americans also have an array of expenses that couples should discuss, including:
- Medical emergencies and health procedures
- Utility bills and home repair costs
- Retirement and investment accounts
- Entertainment and vacations
- Student loan repayment
To add to that, almost 67% of people with gym memberships never use them. If you know about this expense and know you’re not making good on that investment, it’s time to cut the cord.
Find a Helpful Budgeting App
According to NerdWallet, three factors to look for when downloading a budgeting app include its ability to connect with financial accounts, categorize expenses, and track spending. Budgeting apps like Mint have a budget tracker and help you meet budget goals by showing you the impact that spending has on your savings.
According to The Balance, some of the best budgeting apps are:
- Pocket Guard
- Personal Capital
- YNAB (You Need A Budget)
Avoid Financial Secrecy
Imagine finding a coupon in your house and wanting to talk it over later. Then you find out later that your spouse secretly used it to fund a weekend shopping spree. The discomfort reminds you of the time you kept a significant amount of money private. Do you see how tension builds in the marriage?
In a marriage, there shouldn’t be any secrets regarding your finances. If there are, there could be consequences, such as either of you having feelings of betrayal, suspicion, or shock. Casual check-ins and weekly sit-downs to discuss savings can set the stage for a stronger marriage.
Long-lasting marriage means agreed-upon financial decisions. Financial freedom comes with communication, budgeting, and careful planning. By keeping these tips in mind, you and your spouse will be on your way to saving money.
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