How are things on the financial horizon between you and your love? Are you two making the right choices regarding your finances, or are you struggling with the same old issues? Many people look to the New Year or their birthday as an opportunity to make changes in their lives for the better. Check out these money-saving tips couples can start to put into action right now for a better financial future together.
1. PRIORITIZE FINANCIAL GOALS
Ideally, everyone would love not to be in debt, but what are your top financial priorities? Sit down with your partner to discuss pressing matters along with things you would like to achieve in the near and distant future. It’s even a good idea to make a list and prioritize your efforts. Doing this together can dispel any financial fears or concerns and alleviate surprises in the future.
2. ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER TO SAVE
In order to reach your money goals together, you’re going to need to save. Many relationships get into trouble when one person saves and the other spends. Both of you need to make the commitment to invest in your financial future by putting away what you can today, setting firm goals and sticking to them. Help each other by coming up with creative ways to save money. Dine in or hit up the Red Box instead of the movies or eating out. Sex is always free. If you do it right, you won’t even remember where you wanted to go and spend that money you’re trying to save. Make it a game both of you will want to play.
3. BE TRUTHFUL ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL STATUS
The truth hurts, but it will set you free. All couples need to have honesty in their relationships, that goes without saying, and that includes your financial status. Financial transparency is non-negotiable so you and your love need to be honest about your income and debt. It simply cannot work without it. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to tackle any situations that come your way. Note: This “rule” is most important for married individuals and those in a seriously committed, long-term relationship, especially when sharing financial responsibility.
4. ESTABLISH A STRONG FINANCIAL STRUCTURE
To piggy-back on my last point, if you’re a couple who has joint bills, you might want to establish a firm financial structure. Who will be in charge of making sure the rent or mortgage gets paid? Who pays the utilities? Daycare? The truth is that some people are more reliable than others when it comes to taking care of business on time. It is ok if it’s not you; discuss it with your partner and make a plan to compensate for it. You can even give the more responsible partner your share of the bill money on payday. This way, your financial flaws do not interfere with the future you’re trying to build together.
5. SIMPLIFY AND CONSOLIDATE
Are there any bills that you and your love share that can be consolidated? Check your cell phone provider for family plans that will help reduce the amount you both pay each month. Contact your cable provider to see if there are any deals or promotions that you can take advantage of. Get rid of any frivolous or unnecessary expenses. The more expenses you can consolidate into a lower monthly payment, the more you have to add towards your financial goals.
6. HAVE FREQUENT FINANCIAL DISCUSSIONS
At least once a quarter, if not every month, the two of you should be discussing your finances. Maybe a talk over dinner and wine with a promise of “dessert” afterwards will make it more enticing, but it cannot be avoided. Get into the habit of making time to assess your goals or make changes if necessary. Are you both saving enough? Do you need to rethink any of your goals? Cut back more? This is your time to go back to the drawing board should you need to make edits to your plan.
Author Kimberly Jasper