Even with the combined income, it can still be difficult for couples to make ends meet. Then there are those expensive events, such as marriage, children or even just a vacation that can put a serious strain on finances as well.
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Financial problems can put a burden on your relationship, so it is vital that the issue is handled efficiently. Cutting costs and setting aside money can be tricky, but there are ways that it can be done. Here are just a few examples of how you and your partner can start to save some money.
1. Don’t Go Overboard On Date Night
Having fun and bonding with your partner is very important, but doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. If you regularly go on expensive dates to concerts or fancy restaurants look for cheaper alternatives that are just as fun.
There is no need to sacrifice entertainment altogether, but with a bit more effort you’ll be able to find options that can save you a bit more money. If you do want to go to theater shows, restaurants or other venues, first check online resources, such as Groupon for deals. Often there are two for the price of one deals available that will allow you to enjoy an evening out with your partner for half the price you would usually pay.
There are also fun ways to spend time together without having to spend large sums of money. Going for a bike ride together or a walk in the park can be just as enjoyable and doesn’t have to cost a penny. Also be on the lookout for free concerts in your area, or make a romantic home-cooked meal together instead of eating out.
2. Tackle Grocery Shopping Tactically
Unless approached correctly grocery shopping can be a big drain on your finances. However, by approaching this necessary chore in a more strategic manner it doesn’t have to be so costly. Don’t even think of going to the grocery store without a shopping list as this only leads to unnecessary purchases. Compile a list of everything that is necessary in the house and then stick to only buying these.
Another way to save some money in the long run when it comes to shopping is to make sure you only buy all the necessities in bulk or when on sale. Items such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent can make a big difference to your budget when bought in bulk and used sparingly.
Whenever possible, opt for the store brands over the big brand names to cut back on the grocery budget. Most of the store brands are comparable in quality to their well-known brand counterparts and often significantly cheaper. Don’t be afraid to compare prices and shop around, either, to find better bargains.
3. Take The Big Step And Move In Together
Moving in together is not a step that should be taken lightly, but it is one of the biggest ways that couples can save money. Splitting the rent and utilities between two people works out a lot less than having to pay everything on your own, and you are able to shave off a significant amount on other expenses as well. Everything from the food to the gas bills can be split, and you also won’t need to spend any money just to see each other.
When moving in together, there will inevitably be duplicates of many things, so any items that are no longer needed can be sold to generate more cash. Getting rid of any duplicate items beforehand will also decrease the amount of stuff that needs to be moved, which will save cost.
4. Create A Joint Account For Shared Expenses
Living together as a couple helps to cut back on certain expenses, but you still need to create a budget to handle these efficiently. This can be done by creating a joint account that you use only for expenses and items you need to pay together. Doing so also decreases the risk of overspending and makes it easier to save some money in the process.
5. Opt For Budget Vacations
Saving money doesn’t mean missing out on vacations, but being sensible can help you to cut a lot of cost. It is easy to lose track of how many times you are ordering out when on vacation, which can result in costly bills. Making your own meals or snacks might be a little more time consuming, but can be just as satisfying and a lot cheaper.
There are a couple of ways to enjoy cheaper vacations without huge compromises, as long as you can be flexible. For example, decide on an activity or general destination that both you and your partner enjoy, and then look for the best deals involving these instead of having a rigid plan.
You’ll also find that the further ahead you plan the easier it is to get good prices. There is a wealth of online resources available for finding great deals, and often you’ll find couple discounts too. If you are willing to rough it a bit, by camping instead of staying at a luxury hotel for example, you’ll be able to make your money stretch further.
6. Be Responsible With Your Credit Card
Nothing can cause more havoc with your finances than reckless use of a credit card. While it is very convenient, it is easy to lose track of your spending when using a credit card, which won’t do your finances any favors.
To save money and ensure that you stick to your budget, put away the credit card. With interest and fees added on when using your credit card you’ll find that you are often paying much more for your purchases.
7. Thin Out All Those Subscriptions
Over time it is very easy to subscribe to a bunch of things that might be cheap individually, but can soon add up to a big monthly bill. Sit down with your partner and make a list of all your subscriptions, how much they cost and whether you really need all of them. You might just end up discovering that these hidden expenses consume a bigger chunk of your income than you thought.
Instead of physical magazines you can often subscribe to the digital versions instead, which is not only cheaper, but causes less clutter. Cable service is another subscription that can be substituted with an online streaming service, such as Amazon Prime or Netflix, for much cheaper viewing without sacrificing variety.
8. Come Up With A Debt Plan Together
If either you or your partner has any debt, it can make it very difficult to save money. Instead of struggling on your own or trying to hide the debt from your partner, be open and honest with each other.
This will allow you to make a plan together on how to tackle the issue. You will also be able to determine what the best repayment plan would be to get out of the debt faster and without incurring even more expensive interest.