Getting married comes with its baggage. It is a big life commitment both socially, emotionally, physically, and financially. Because of the baggage, it comes with, it is important to begin building a secure financial future from the onset.
Unfortunately, newlyweds pay little or no attention to the financial aspect of marriage because they are still basking in the euphoria of being married newly and being in love. Newlyweds tend to forget about the financial aspect of their lives until a big life event happens, like adding a new member to your family, buying your first home, or a car.
Newlyweds are supposed to plan their finances earlier on and together, to avoid being stressed financially in the future. This should be done before marriage, then after the honeymoon is over, go back to that financial plan to ensure that you are still meeting those short-term and long-term goals.
This should be done oftentimes. But if the newlyweds did not set any financial plan before the wedding ceremony, there is still time for that. After the honeymoon phase, they should sit down and discuss their finances.
Most times, money is the cause of conflict for most couples, especially newlyweds. It is the most common reason for argument in the first stage of marriage.
There are a few important money-saving tips newlyweds should be aware of in other to prevent finances from impacting their relationship negatively.
Here are 14 Money-Saving Tips for Newly Married Couples:
1. Make a Budget and Stick to It:
Budgeting and sticking to it is very helpful. As newlyweds, budgeting will help a lot to save up money. Budget help ensure money is your faithful servant. You tell your money where to go and where not to go. Some couples, especially newlyweds find budgeting confining and intimidating. This is because they have not has a comprehensive understanding of the kind of commitment they are going into.
However, newlyweds should be made to understand that making and keeping a budget is an avenue for them to live deliberately, be intentional, and see progress towards their financial goals.
Living with a budget provides many benefits like reducing financial stress and unnecessary argument about shortages or lack of finances.
2. Combine your Finances:
Having a joint account for newlyweds is a great way to save money. Creating a joint account can help newlyweds create a budget for the expenses that they pay together. This method saves money.
It’s also a way to monitor (not negatively) or track how they spend money individually. The joint accounts indirectly impose discipline where it concerns money spending.
Having a joint account will help newlyweds stop wasting time juggling accounts and expenses. This will allow them to stop determining who will pay anytime they are out and who will be buying. Once newlyweds channel some percentage of their money to a joint account, it will be easier to spend from that – run the household expenses.
Note that both should be signatories to the account in question. Also, it’s advisable that newlyweds (both partners) should first keep their existing accounts. The advantage here is that each partner retains a piece of his/her finances independently, in the event of a breakup, the finances can be separated again easily.
3. Set Common Goals:
As a newlywed, having the same priorities is a great way to start, especially where it concerns finances. It will be difficult to save money if newlyweds do not have the same priorities. That’s why it’s important that they discuss their goals, so they can decide together where to allocate funds.
The set goals will serve as a kind of motivation – helping newlyweds to say no to unnecessary expenses and saying yes to high-value expenses.
Newlyweds can stick to their set goal plan by automating most of their savings, investment, and bills. Reviewing their expenses on their monthly money date will make finances less stressful and actually fun.
4. Manage Costs and Live with your Means:
Without being told, everyone knows that they should spend less than they earn, it’s just common sense.
Newlyweds get carried away because a big life situation has not happened and spend more than they earn. That shouldn’t be so. Matter of fact, being married newly gives them the opportunity and time to start saving.
Sometimes we do find ourselves making an impulse purchase. Sometimes life happens and unforeseen expenses pop up.
Newlyweds are encouraged to manage costs for their financial health’s sake. To live within your means, live on a budget – do not stress your budgeting plan, and don’t try to keep up with your peers. Out there, it’s a different stroke for different people.
You must not be like other people, because some people put up a facade of life just to keep up.
5. Make Investing a Priority:
Investing is very important to your future financial well-being because it’s almost (if not) like saving. There are so many ways to invest and make the money you set aside grow, like a money market account.
It will be good if newlyweds educate themselves in the area of investment, but they shouldn’t take everything by themselves. It is important that they seek experts in financial planning and investing for guidance and recommendations that suit them.
They should be mindful not to throw all their cash into retirement funds. There are other things that matter also like buying a home, raising children, or starting a business. Newlyweds should just be sure to spread that newlywed money around in smart ways.
6. Have an Emergency Fund:
Emergency funds are very essential for anyone, but even more essential for newlyweds. From medical expenses to vehicle repair, an emergency fund can help you cover unexpected expenses.
Newlyweds are encouraged to set aside and save some percentage of their earnings for unforeseen circumstances. This way they can still be comfortable in tackling any emergency without going overboard on their budgets.
It will help them keep their savings intact and not fall into debt. This can make a huge impact on their financial situation.
For example, a five-day treatment in the hospital can cost up to $10,000. That $10,000 could be a down payment on a home. A 2019 study from academic researchers found that 66.5 percent of all bankruptcies were tied to medical issues —either because of high costs for care or time out of work.
7. Pay off Your Debts:
Most people have some sort of personal debt. However, when they get married, that debt becomes household debt. Also, some newlyweds incur debt from their marriage ceremony.
It is very important that they eliminate the debt as soon as possible. Because if not, they will spend a lot of time or most of their years as married couples paying debts, which in turn affects their saving plan and other financial needs.
This debt can be student loans, credit card debt, business loans, etc. If newlyweds have to eliminate this debt, they should start with the largest debt amount first (debt with the highest interest).
While paying off the debt, ensure you are still saving money to achieve your short-term and long-term goals too. Your emergency fund should be growing as well, do not ignore it.
8. Be on the Same Financial Page with your Spouse:
Newlyweds need to have a conversation about finances. This conversation should happen before the wedding ceremony, but if it didn’t happen, it’s time to sit down and talk finances.
The key issues to discuss are earnings (salaries), debt, savings, joint accounts, spending habits, and future financial goals.
It is not out of place to have a partner with different views when it comes to money and spending it. Opposites attract, they say, and when it happens to newlyweds, getting on the same financial page is very important as it will reduce financial stress,
Once on the same financial page with your partner, you get to understand your partner’s viewpoint on money and spending. That viewpoint may not go well with you, that is where you sit down and talk.
Compromise will come in, adjustments, understanding, and consideration will be put into play. That way, newlyweds will have an understanding of their partner’s money behavior and agree to be on the same financial page. Once this is achieved, the saving will be made a lot easier.
9. Discuss Spending Limits:
Newlyweds that want to save money should discuss spending limits and have a maximum amount to spend. This is a very important element to keep them from being stressed financially.
Overspending is one of the major factors that cause financial conflict in a relationship.
This can be a very tricky subject to discuss, especially if you and your partner have different spending traits, which mostly happens to newlyweds as no two people are the same.
Definitely, one partner is likely to be the spender. The spender may be inclined to spend without having a conversation with you about it.
If you find yourself in that kind of situation, setting a guideline for what both you and your spouse can spend without having a family discussion will go a long way in money saving and also prevent financial stress.
10. Control Credit Card Usage AMAP:
For newlyweds to achieve their set goal by saving, they should discard that credit cards in the house.
Spending with a credit card may seem harmless, and newlyweds may see it as a way of boosting their credit score, but I assure you the reverse is the case.
The usage of credit cards can come with serious financial consequences. It may lead to loss of money and insurmountable debts too.
11. Have Saving Competitions:
Saving money can actually be fun for newlyweds if they turn it into a friendly competition. This friendly competition can increase saving by a greater percentage.
This ‘saving competition’ can be motivated by adding incentives to it. The incentive could be a treat from the loser at the end of each month.
The competition should be based on the percentage of income earned, not the total amount saved because of the differences in income.
A health competition like this will bring out the best and push you and your spouse to find new and innovative ways to save money.
12. Track your Expenses:
Newlyweds are encouraged to be informed on how they spend their finances. The information can be overwhelming. You will be shocked at how much you spend in a month.
Regardless of your income level, newlyweds can start by tracking their expenses. They should make it a point of duty to track every penny they spend once a month or once in two months.
Anyone that works for them, as long as they keep a tab on the expenses frequently. This method will allow them to take control of their financial situation and help them develop a plan. It will serve as a guideline on how much to spend in a month or two.
From the exercise, they will know when they are overspending. Then, they will have to think twice about those impulse purchases that they make at times.
13. Understand your Partner’s Money and Spending Behavior
Every couple is different at managing their money. But individually, we have our own mindset when it comes to money, our beliefs, and our values.
So everyone is different when it comes to saving and spending money. This is why newlyweds should make it a point of duty to understand their individual money mindset, budgeting, saving, and spending behavior and acknowledge their differences.
This way, they will be able to know how to tackle their saving behavior. Instead of trying to force the other party to change, compromise will set in, and an agreement will be reached on how to tackle their spending differences and save.
14. Set Aside a ‘Fun Budget’:
Once newlyweds have had an understanding of their money and spending habit, they should develop a system to make each other comfortable and happy.
This fun budget can be used for clothing, hair, make-up, social activities, that may not include the other partner.
What is expected is that they agree to set aside a fund budget for the spender, that way their saving will not be affected and it will save them from being stressed financially. The saver as well can also spend from the fun budget.
The only rule is that nobody says anything as long as they stay within budget.