March 22, 2016
I’m a self-proclaimed Dave Ramsey fan. Have you ever answered the question, “If you could invite five celebrities to a dinner party with you, who would they be?” Dave Ramsey is one of those people for me. Along with Elen Degeneres, Phoebe and Chandler from FRIENDS, and Bear Grylls. Anyways, I digress.
I’m very passionate about handling money wisely and I came up with a few tips for newlyweds who are looking to start their marriage off with a better handle on finances.
These are some of the tips Dustin and I have found helpful in our first three years of marriage.
1. Order Water
I got in the habit of ordering water at restaurants from a young age. While my friends order sodas and drinks, I always order water. Not only is this better for your wallet (a couple bucks per meal adds up over time!) it is a healthier option as well. Win win.
2. Skip on Cable
Cable is expensive! An easy way to save over $50 per month is to watch TV online or sign up for Netflix which requires a much smaller monthly payment. Some people make fun of us for not having cable and I’d rather be considered weird than have my boss be my cable bill.
3. Date Night at Home
Instead of going out for an expensive dinner and activity, bring date night to your home! Make an inexpensive dinner and watch Netflix, get a Redbox, or play a game! This option also allows you to wear sweatpants (#winning).
4. Acquire Hand-Me-Down Furniture
This is a biggy! When moving into a new place you will have lots of space to fill. Instead of buying expensive new pieces of furniture, look for furniture relatives or friends are getting rid of. It doesn’t have to be the most stylish, just something that will get the job done. When Dustin and I got married, we only purchased two pieces of furniture, a mattress and sofa. The rest of our furniture came from friends, family, and oddly enough the neighbor’s trash. By initially acquiring furniture this will give you time to determine your style and purchase nicer pieces down the road when you’ve saved for them and can actually afford them.
5. Create a Budget
This is crucial. If you want to feel in control of your finances rather than having your finances control you, create a budget! Before the month begins, tell every dollar where to go and spend your money accordingly. This will help you and your spouse get on the same page financially. A couple apps that can help you create a budget are Mint and EveryDollar.
During your first year of marriage there will be lots of new expenses so it’s helpful to be intentional with cutting back on some unnecessary purchases. By having extra wiggle room in your bank account you will have more financial freedom and can spend money on things that matter most to you. For example, you might be able to:
1. Pay off those pesky student loans
2. Save for a down payment on a house
3. Give More
4. Save for a Vacation
One final bonus tip: Write out your grocery list and stick to it. This might seem like common sense but I don’t know too many people that write out a list each time they go to the grocery store and stick to solely to the items they listed. By committing to stick to your list this will completely eliminate the chance of impulse purchases. Your wallet will thank you!
Hope you found this post helpful! How do you find ways to save? I would love to hear any tips you might have!