5 Ways to Save Money as Newlyweds
In the chorus of Danny’s Song, singer Kenny Loggins gently sings to his love, “And even though we ain’t got money, I’m so in love with you honey.” While the song evokes sweet and romantic feelings of youthfulness, the reality is that many newlywed couples are living on love and scraping by with nothing but a few extra dollars.
Unfortunately, this is often more stressful than it is romantic. However, there’s no need to worry. With a few money-saving tips, you can enjoy the final lines of the aforementioned chorus which reads, “You bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me everything’s gonna be alright.”
5 Ways to Make Your Money Go Further
Before diving into specific tips, it’s important to remember that being financially responsible is a mindset. If you want to save more, you have to develop responsible habits that prioritize frugalness over liberal spending. Only then will you be able to stay on track. With that being said, keep these tips in mind as you move through the first months and years of your marriage.
1. Establish a Budget
The single most important financial decision you can make as a newlywed couple is to establish (and stick to) a budget. While many people cringe at the thought of a budget – assuming it removes any financial flexibility and spontaneity – the reality is that a budget gives you a framework for understanding your financial situation in real-time.
Give every single dollar you earn a destination. There are plenty of tools and solutions to help you do this. By understanding where your money is going, you can clearly see what you can and cannot afford to spend each month.
However, the best thing about a budget is it reduces conflict in a young marriage. When both individuals understand where money is going, there isn’t room for finger pointing or superfluous spending. If the numbers don’t add up at the end of the month, it’ll be clear what happened. This accountability encourages most couples to follow the rules.
2. Cut the Cord
One of the quickest ways to save money is by doing what millennials call “cutting the cord.” This is the term for unsubscribing from cable television and instead using an online streaming service to watch movies and shows.
According to research, the average cable bill comes in somewhere around $99.10 per month (which is 39 percent higher than it was in 2010). And while that $100 provides you with lots of channels and options, most people only watch a handful of these channels. As a result, you’re simply throwing money down the drain. How much? Well, let’s take a look.
Netflix costs $9.99 per month. Hulu comes in at $7.99. Sling TV is roughly $20 per month, while Amazon Prime is somewhere around $17 when you add in all the fees. So, let’s say you decide to go with one or two streaming services instead of cable TV and your monthly payment is $25 per month. Over the course of 12 months, you can save $888. How many bills could you pay with $888?
3. Compare Insurance Rates
Another simple way to save money without compromising is by finding better car insurance rates. By looking around and comparing insurance rates in your area, you can realistically save hundreds of dollars per year. This is money you can put in your savings account, pay other bills with, or use to take a weekend vacation.
There’s also a practical reason to look around and compare insurance rates. From an insurance company’s perspective, you are actually safer once you’re married. The reason is that married people are seen as less risky. This is why a 20-year-old woman pays approximately 22 percent less for car insurance if she’s married, while a 20-year-old man can expect to pay 20 percent less. When you multiply these savings over months and years, you end up with a lot of cash in your pocket.
Thankfully, comparing car insurance rates isn’t as difficult as it used to be. At compare.com, our comparison tool is as easy as entering in a few key pieces of information. We then provide you with up to date rates and the ability to get in touch with an agent in your area.
4. Use Coupons When Shopping
Coupons get a bad rap sometimes, but they can help you save some serious money. Thanks to a number of websites that aggregate coupons and deals, you can easily search for a discount any time you by a product online. Furthermore, by signing up for a membership program at your local supermarket, you can save money on things like groceries and household items.
While you may not think $5 here and $10 there means much, it can add up to thousands of dollars per year. If you want to stay motivated, keep a tally of how much you save with coupons each month. Once you know how much you’re saving, you’ll be encouraged to keep using them.
5. Make Exercise Free
How much do you spend on a gym membership each month? According to national data, the average membership costs between $40 and $50 per month. However, when you include annual fees and other add-ons, you’re looking at as much as $800 per year. Do you get $800 worth out of your gym membership each year? Think about how many times you actually go and then run the numbers. How much are you spending per visit? The result may shock you.
The good news is that you don’t need an expensive gym membership to exercise and stay fit. You can work out at home, run around your neighborhood, or join a cheap gym with basic equipment. If you’re smart about this aspect of your spending, you can save a few hundred dollars per year.
Newlyweds Can Save Money Too
When you first get married, so much change takes place that it can be difficult to realize what’s happening. You spend so much time focusing on your relationship that important things like finances can take a backseat. And while your relationship with your spouse is obviously most important, you can’t forget about finances.
With the tips mentioned in this article, you can not only make your monthly income go further, but you can also put money away into a savings account. With a little extra money in your bank account, you can spend the first few months and years of your marriage enjoying life, as opposed to stressing over bills and expenses.