“Financial Advice for Young Couples.” Building a financial dream together rather than a money nightmare…
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n the current financial climate every family is finding that they’re having to make savings they didn’t expect to have to make. That’s because prices are going up and wages are going down and job security is a thing of the past.
With the economy still precarious it pays to be prudent at the moment, no matter how financially secure someone might feel. And that applies double for couples who have just got married, are just starting out or are thinking about starting a family. Not only do they need to think about themselves, but also their partner and possibly their new baby.
Five super hot tips for couples to save cash from their monthly budget:
5. Set a Budget and Keep To It.
This seems like an obvious one, but most couples think about drawing up a budget and then never get around to doing it. Take an afternoon and sit down together to write up a total expenditure for the family and then a total income.
Work out where you are spending the most money, what items you may still be doubling up on and who is paying what bills. Then decide how much you need for bills between you and how much you want to spend on fun stuff and savings.
4. Don’t Get Into Debt.
Again, this seems obvious but long gone are the days when it was ok to put things on the credit card and pay it back later. In the current financial uncertainty only do or buy things you can afford. Don’t worry about getting the latest clothes or cars, and if you go out a lot, stay in one or two nights extra if it means that you are still in credit at the end of the month.
3. Think About Savings and Your Joint Future.
It never seems much fun, thinking about savings and pensions, especially if you are both still young, but if you are planning a family these are exactly the kind of things you need to start thinking about. If either or both of you have jobs that offer you 401K’s then ensure that you both pay as much in as possible.
If you don’t, then look into Individual Retirement Accounts. Similarly, work out how much money you can put into savings every month.
2. Learn to Have Fun Without Blowing the Budget.
We all spend like to spend money on people we love, but once you know you’re in it for the long hall it is important to know when you both need to cut back on the spending in order to save for the future. This doesn’t just mean gifts, but also where you go when you go out in the evening. Instead of going to your favorite fancy restaurant, have a barbecue and invite some friends around.
Rather than going to the movies, go out for a night walk somewhere or take an afternoon and go out for a bike ride.
1. Think About Whether You Are Ready for a Family.
Most couples start cutting back because they want to move to a bigger house and start their own family. Before you do anything, work out if that is what you both want. Saving money will be a lot easier if you both want the same things at the end of it.
Today’s financial journalist and business blogger, Esther, is based in the windy city of Chicago. She writes about all areas of personal finance affecting the consumer from tax relief to credit and store cards to where to find good accounts receivable finance.
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