Finance-related problems are the number one issue that couples usually argue about. No matter how much you love each other, pooling your finance together can be a quite slippery slope. However, it's definitely worth examining to reach your financial goals and avoid spending that drains up your wallet.
If you and your spouse want to start saving money, you will get the best result by working as a team. Here are nine tips that can help you start things on the right foot.
1. Have Savings Competitions
Saving money can be pretty interesting and efficient when you make it a healthy competition. You can start a challenge with your spouse to see who can save the most money for a month or save a specific amount first. Just set a goal and the deadline to see how much money each of you has saved. Consider what the best saver will win. It can be a small gift or just a treat for dinner at a restaurant. Competitions always motivate you to be more focused on your finance and steer clear of useless spendings.
2. Don’t Hide Spendings
Sharing your budget with your spouse or choosing to hold separate finance is a quite personal decision. However, managing your own funds should not be confused with hiding spendings. Todd Christensen said: “Hiding money from your partner is generally a form of deception, usually based in fear, neither of which bode well for the relationship.”
A recent survey showed that more than 40% of respondents have financial secrets from their beloved partners. But if you find out that your spouse has money secrets, don't think the worst. First of all, try to find out the reason, as there can be quite valid concerns you have never thought about. And what is more important, make sure to start your conversation from the aspect of comprehension rather than focusing on accusations.
3. Make Your First Home a Multi-Family Property
Investing in multi-family property might be the right fit for you if you are looking for real estate investment strategies to seriously boost your cash flow. As its name suggests, a multi-family property contains more than one housing unit but no more than four. Single-family homes may appear to be a safer and more affordable investment, but a multi-family home generates highly monthly rental income with lower total maintenance costs, making it a profitable investment for you.
4. Have a Joint Bank Account
Many couples believe that having a joint bank account may symbolize the couple's financial union and provide many benefits. First of all, it's easier to keep track of your finance and overcome spending habits.
Study shows that married couples with pooled investment accounts feel much happier in their relationships than those with separate finances. A joint bank account allows couples to have a combined source that simplifies using financial tools, paying bills, or managing banking information.
Pooling your finance together may also help you ease financial surprises when both of you control the cash flow available on the account. However, you may also encounter problematic situations with joint funds. For example, if you enter a marriage with debt in your name, such as a credit card or student loan, your credit will be paid directly from your joint account. To avoid similar challenges, couples need to discuss their liabilities and consider which banking model works best for them.
5. Health savings account (HSA)
An HSA or just a health savings account is a separate savings account that allows you to make pre-tax contributions to pay for qualifying medical expenses. Compared to the traditional “co-pay plan”, HSA covers a wider range of expenses. You may also get tax-deductible contributions directly into your savings account and even earn interest on that amount. When choosing a health coverage plan as a couple, you need to look at the family offers and get the best value for you. Getting reasonable health coverage that fits your needs may also make a huge sense when you are in "saving mode."
6. Use Discounted Gift Cards for Household Items
If you plan to buy a gift card, it can get a little expensive. However, you may benefit from purchasing them at a discount if you buy in bulk. Discount gift cards work by people selling unwanted gift cards to online retailers. You can start purchasing gift cards at raise.com and even get an additional 1% cashback on your purchase (if you have a Rakuten account). Special discounts from local stores or online shops can hack your way into saving hundreds of dollars.
7. Ditch TV Entirely
You don't need Netflix to be happy. Apart from being harmful to our health, watching TV or even having it may drain your budget. On average, every household pays more than $1200 yearly for the cost of cable, a pay-TV subscription, movie subscriptions, etc. It's absolutely fine if you have a room in your budget, but considering cutting the cord may save you tons of money.
8. Use Daily Deals
Getting deals at a discounted price is what may save you money. Look for discounts almost for everything, from household goods up to dining out at a restaurant. You may find handy offers on websites such as Groupon or Yelp. For online shopping, use promo codes and activate browser extensions (such as a Honey extension) to find the hottest offers all over the web.
9. Have Weekly Money Meetings
It's simple to create a budget but challenging to keep track of it regularly. Having weekly meetings with your spouse to look through your expenses is a must-have to spot the progress, eliminate bad habits, and set future financial goals. Remember, you and your beloved one need to be team players to succeed in a money-saving game.