Learning to spend money as a couple is challenging—your needs are much different than those of a single person, and your spending habits often require a crash course in compatibility. Because money is one of the biggest causes of stress in relationships, here are some tips to make your budget more flush and your discussions more civil.
The phone bill is one area where couples tend to spend (and waste) the most money. First, get rid of that landline—even your parents have finally given up that dinosaur technology. You’re not using it anyway, so even if it’s a great deal when coupled with your internet, it’s costing you money you could be turning into money-making investments.
Next, get on the same cell phone plan. Maybe you love your Android and she loves her iPhone, but most kinds of phones are now available at most carriers. Get a plan that’s best for you too—if you hardly ever talk, get fewer minutes and pay for texts. If you frequently connect to the internet on your phone, think about where you’re doing it—if there’s a wireless network available in most places, you might be able to get rid of your data plan altogether.
Rethink Date Night
While a morning mocha is a nice treat, the two of you are probably better off making a one-time purchase of a nice coffee maker and making your morning joe at home. Rent movies from the library or use the super cheap Netflix instead of going out to a movie, and prepare meals together (even fancy ones are cheaper than restaurants) as part of your date night fun. Get rid of gym memberships you aren’t using and do outdoor activities together instead.
If you eat lunch out every day of a five-day work week and spend $5 (an extremely conservative estimate), you’ll spend about $1,300 every year. That’s a huge amount of money for someone just starting out, so save your cash and pack a lunch. Make larger dinners so you have leftovers, go the chips and sandwich route, or use Sunday afternoons to prepare large pots of something that you can throw into Tupperware all week long.
The Bottom Line
Money, like everything else in relationships, is best left out in the open. Communicate openly about your spending habits, tendencies, and goals. Work together to establish a plan for savings and alleviate the stress that accompanies finances. By working together, you’ll establish a relationship that is more secure—financially and otherwise!
(photo credit: hernan.seoane via photopin cc)