Determining how to save money as a married couple may not be the easiest task, considering money is one of the many reasons for divorce.
But financial planning as a married couple isn’t all doom and gloom.
When you work as a couple, a team, and as one, the sky is endless (literally) for your financial goals.
These are all things that worked out for us, and we were ultimately able to save our first $100,000.
Some of what we discuss in the post is what we’re currently doing now, and what we developed over time that helped us towards our financial goals.
This post is detailing how to save money as a married couple.
It may be the most obvious, but step one is simply listing all of your sources of income.
If you do things on the side and building wealth, for instance, this blog or selling on Etsy, list that as income.
If you are married, you want to bring both your incomes together, because you both know what you’re bringing home.
You can build wealth together which is extremely important in determining how to save as a married couple.
Track Your Monthly Expenses Like Your Life Depends On It
That may sound a little dramatic, but while you’re figuring out how to save money as a married couple, establishing a fight-or-flight sense will help you stick to your goals.
The key here is to track all of your expenses in the past 30-60 days.
What you are doing here is recognizing and tracking what your reoccurring expenses are in order to determine your overall spending.
If you have something reoccurring like Netflix, iTunes membership, or a reoccurring vet bill for my dogs, this counts.
Make sure to add in things like where you’re going shopping, how often, when you’re shopping; is it groceries or going out to the bar, childcare expenses, etc.
This gives you a mindset of what you should be expecting to see in your budget and if it was in fact a warranted money-making decision necessary as a budget line item.
Admittedly, this part can be very time-consuming.
But this is the most crucial step if you’re going to figure out how to save money as a married couple.
It’s no longer budgeting as a college student or an independent millennial, but as a two-person team to reach your financial goals.
You must go through your bank account and see the withdrawals.
Like everyone, you are bound to find surprise transactions you realize you were still paying for (been there, done that, couldn’t afford the t-shirt).
It’s important to gather information and this number doesn’t have to be exact you know you just really want to arrange it.
Because budgets vary; depending on what things do come up like holidays, or sickness.
What’s Your Survival Number?
What are the basic needs for your survival? It’s not as primitive as it’s worded, trust me.
But, you need a roof over your head, you need clothing; food, basic hygiene products, cell phone, transportation, etc.
Cell phone plans aren’t necessarily survival, but they are a vital part of day-to-day life, as married millennials.
But, we all know that these monthly costs can vary.
However, for the purpose of budgeting as a married couple, we’re talking about a basic cell phone plan.
Honestly, if you’re struggling to pay the bills and save money as a married couple, you’re always going to go negative.
Think about it: is it necessary to have a top-of-line phone if that’s keeping you from getting to your goals?
Walking to Work Will Extend Your Life (and your wallet)
Car payments are one of the biggest hurdles to achieving financial freedom.
If your car payment is $500 a month, but over 30 years compounding — that can be almost in the millions of dollars in your retirement!
You don’t need a brand new car, a brand new vehicle.
Depending on your salary, the vehicle that you drive should match the salary that you’re at.
If you have a $40,000 job, you don’t need like a $50,000 car.
When we needed to determine how to save money as a married couple, we actually operated as a one-car family (and we still are to this day, almost five years later).
It worked out for us because we didn’t have to worry about two car payments.
Now, technically if you’re living in New York or a large metropolitan area, you don’t need a car.
But, we are going to include having a car loan for the sake of this post, because it is realistic as a need in today’s society.
This is what it is when we first started bringing our budgets together.
When we first got married, we had two separate budgets for the first year (and it was a nightmare operating independently).
When we finally learned how to save money as a married couple through budgeting, it really helped us analyze how we were spending as a whole.
The 50/30/20 Rule You Need to Know
You can apply this literally or you can tweak it to fit your life.
We tweaked it quite a bit but, here’s the breakdown.
Fifty (50) percent of your income is for your needs.
So — if you make $4000 a month, half or $2000 of that is meant for your needs, which is considered your threshold.
Thirty (30) percent is for spending which includes going out with friends, clothing, eating out, etc.
The remaining 20% is for actual savings.
In our case, we had our 50% put aside for needs. Remember everyone is different!
Then, we actually took the other 50% and put it towards high-interest credit card debt, and student loans.
This helped us tremendously and put in perspective our spending, reoccurring expenses, and debt to income.
Regardless of your tweaks to the 50/30/20 rule, as a married couple, you can visually (and finally see) what is actually a need versus a necessity.
This Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint.
This is a long-term goal that you’re trying to reach so you got to remember you just got to stick to this plan.
You know the numbers will eventually work out for you and this is the hardest part, in my opinion.
If you admittedly have a spending problem where you’re always going negative (especially if you are trying to build wealth), that’s the hardest part.
But once you do it, it’ll be much easier going forward.
So we’re actually at the point now we don’t budget at all.
Ours is very different than what we started out in so that’s kind of what you want to aim for.