There should be an old adage that says something like, “couples who save together stay together,” because being on the same page about financial goals is really important for couples and spouses of all ages and economic backgrounds. If you’re unsure where to start when you’re looking to save money alongside your spouse, there are plenty of tips on how to start. Here are 5 tips for spouses who want to save together:
Have a clear budget.
It seems too simple, but a budget is your relationship’s best friend. It’s the only way you’ll get a full picture on how much you’re spending, how much your spouse is spending, and how much you both have to put toward debt to pay them off. Without a budget, you’re going to be in limbo because you won’t understand where your dollars are going, and that can lead to confusion and resentment when you look at your shared checking account.
Develop goals and a reward system.
If your goal with your spouse is to save $10,000 in a year, you should develop incentives to help you get there, especially if you’re making sacrifices along the way—like waiting until next year to get a new car, or saying “no” to attending an expensive out-of-town wedding. However, you should still think about ways to reward yourself for meeting your goals, like going out on a date night when you save $1,000 toward your goal, or pay off a debt.
Drag your skeletons out of the closet.
Have old debts from college, or a looming credit card bill? Your spouse needs to know about that, and financial secrets help no one. The only way to make progress toward saving is to be completely clear and transparent with your finances, your debts, and what steps you’re taking to tackle them.
Set yourself up for success.
Do you love to eat out or buy expensive wine, clothing, or vacations? Tell your spouse, “This is what I have trouble giving up” and see if there is wiggle room on an item or two. For example, if they are willing to cut out their morning drive-thru coffee, maybe those funds can be allocated for an occasional fancy Friday-night bottle of wine.
Get unbiased help.
If you need help saving and doubling down on your financial goals, then it’s always okay to ask someone for their expertise, like a financial planner or an accountant. Cain and Daniels is here to help spouses save, too.