Regardless of what you’re saving for; a rainy day, a house deposit or an overseas vacation, being a couple doesn’t have to be about spending lots of money. In fact, saving money is something that you can enjoy doing as a couple…
Consider Moving In Together
If you are serious about being together in the long term you should seriously consider moving in together. You’ll be surprised at how much shopping and cooking together can save real money. Saving a rent or mortgage payment will yield some big coin in the long term. When you’re not maintaining new properties there is less electricity and water use and the maintenance costs and general rental outgoings will be lower. If you are in the enviable position of owning properties, then you can earn money by renting one.
Examine Your Rewards And Use Them
Are there rewards or savings programs available where you shop? If you’re like me and not used to looking for them you’ll actually be pleasantly surprised at how many places will reward you for shopping with them. In Australia, Supermarket chains like Woolworths and Coles have membership cards that advertise shopper offers that will save you big money on sale grocery item if you keep your eyes open. Use a digital card wallet app on your mobile phone to keep your card details altogether Stocard is a great mobile wallet choice for Android and iOS users.
Challenge Yourself to a Zero Spend Date
Being a couple takes energy but not necessarily a lot of money if you can be a little creative. A recent promotional Christmas campaign reminded us of this fact with their slogan “Christmas Presence. Spend less, be present more.” You can dramatically reduce your date spend by finding places to walk and explore together. Bring your camera or mobile phone and take photos of each other and bring home memories. You could partner up with a pub quiz team, or simply take out a rug and lay it on the lawn. You could bring your own picnic or just spend time together looking up at the clouds together. When you put your mind together there are lots of ideas to be shared – and feel free to leave yours in the comments.
Make Cleaning Products from Scratch
Have you noticed how much the cleaning products cost? We often taken them for granted and just buy what we need when we run out. Next time, consider what you could do to manufacture your own greener household cleaner for use around the home. Decide together what will work for you and add it into your cleaning routine. You’ll be surprised how much money it can save over the course of a year. If you want a head start on how to do this, bestselling author Rebecca Sullivan wrote a great book on the topic called The Art of Natural Cleaning: Tips and techniques for a chemical-free, sparkling home which is available on Amazon.
Try Going Meat-Free, Even for a Day
Whether it’s processed meats like Hams and Salamis, Chicken or a cut of steak, meat costs a lot of money. If you decided as a couple that you’ll enjoy a vegetarian day of meals once a week you could save a significant amount of money towards your savings goal. You could choose a meal of rice and beans, a gourmet salad or a plate of steamed vegetables. Be a little more adventurous and consider steaming some Chinese vegetarian dumplings, fry some pak choi or bake some frozen vegetable samosas from your Asian grocery store. You’ll be surprised what you find if you change your mind about needing to have meat on your plate every day. Take the time to notice how you feel when you remove some of the meat too. Now I’m not advocating a total diet change, however, people who remove some meat from their diet report sleeping better, feeling less lethargic and overall feeling lighter. It can be a double win, reduce the CO2 pressure on the environment and make some cost-savings at the same time.
Combine Your Finances
I know it’s a big step but if you’re moving in together, why can’t your money move in too? A joint bank account means no secrets between partners and lets you have more meaningful conversations about your spending and savings habits. When you have a joint bank account and close your other accounts you save on bank fees. When you change accounts be smart and shop around for one that meets your needs, with the lowest fees.
What About Insurance?
Health insurance is critical and home insurance is also important, but make sure you’ve got the right inclusions. Be smart about what you need and what you don’t and enjoy the cost savings of applying for insurance as a couple. Use each opportunity to consider exactly what you need, and shop around to find the best deals to meet your needs.
Settle your debts
Talking about your finances as a couple is key to avoiding financial problems. If you have credit cards, don’t leave a big balance earning 18-per cent interest or more.
It’s important that you don’t hide your debt. Get it out in the open. Put financial matters on the table for discussion and together you can come up with the right strategy to manage debt together. Be smart, considering those with the highest interest rates for settlement first. Refinance things like credit cards with high interest if it makes sense to do so, and settle a lower monthly payment. Don’t forget to cut up the credit cards after you’ve refinanced so you don’t accrue more debt.
What’s your best idea for saving money, tell me in the comments below.