For most couples—whether married, living together, or dating—saving money is a top priority. Fighting over money is often the #1 reason relationships end. Who wants that? Not us. Use these 13 tips to save together for a brighter future.
1. Have a sponsor pay for your wedding.
The trend of sponsored weddings is growing. With the average wedding costing nearly $30,000, it’s not surprising some couples are using this tactic and saving big. My sister and her fiancé are considering having just their cake and appetizers sponsored and paying for the rest of the wedding themselves.
2. Download Ibotta on both your phones for even more savings.
Get your husband to download Ibotta. He’ll get $10 for using your referral code, and you’ll get $5—that’s a free $15 to add to your savings. By forming an Ibotta team, you and your partner also earn teamwork bonuses. For example, if you redeem 12 rebates, and your team redeems at least $15 worth of rebates together, you’ll get an extra $2 in your account—and so will your significant other. It’s a win-win.
3. Work for a company that will pay for both of your college tuitions.
Some employers offer tuition assistance for both their employees and their dependents. Check with your company’s HR department and ask your spouse to check theirs too!
If your spouse is in the military, the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program provides up to $4,000 of financial assistance for spouses who pursue degree programs, licenses, or credentials leading to employment in portable career fields—everything from accounting to public relations.
Check out these 11 Companies That Will Pay for Your College Degree.
4. Set financial goals using a budget-tracking app.
With so many free apps out there showing you how to save, there’s no excuse not to download one. Here are three of our favorite apps to get you saving with very little effort.
- Better Haves: Designed specifically for couples to manage a joint budget, this app helps you track shared and individual expenses and set money aside for savings. It also lets you allocate expenditures and sync transactions.
- Mint: This app automatically updates and categorizes transactions, letting you and your partner see spending in real time. This really works well with a couple needing a discretionary budget (like when one partner is addicted to buying vinyl records and needs to know when they have to stop!).
- Good Budget: Divide your monthly budget and track spending habits in each area of your lives. It also lets you sync two or more devices so you can track expenses with your partner, schedule future and recurring transactions, and check your balances before spending.
5. Use the his, hers, and ours system with envelopes.
This may be old-school, but it works. Allocate certain allowances in each area of your lives—and don’t forget to give each other a budget to spend on anything you like. Then, fill separate envelopes with cash to control spending. When you run out, stop spending. Whatever money is left over in each envelope goes into a joint savings account. This budget system works well for grocery, entertainment, gasoline, and clothing budgets.
6. Track spending on a white board.
Out of sight, out of mind, right? Avoid this by keeping track of everything on a shared white board placed in a spot that you’ll both see often—like on your refrigerator or office wall. When someone makes a purchase, record it so you know where you stand with your family budget.
7. Only subscribe to the magazines, TV channels, and memberships that both of you will use.
8. Use one of these free budgeting spreadsheets.
By using a spreadsheet, you can instantly update your budget and have your totals calculated. Both Excel and Google Docs let you build your own sheets, but not everyone’s into that. Here are five templates that are ready-to-use and get you saving regularly.
9. File taxes jointly.
According to TurboTax, in 2015, married taxpayers filing separately only received a deduction of $6,300 compared to the $12,600 offered to those who filed jointly.
10. Pay with Restaurant.com gift cards when dining out.
Restaurant.com is a site that offers awesomely cheap local dining gift cards that are perfect for use on date nights. We’re talking deals like a $25 gift card for $10, or a $50 gift card for $25. Most of the time, you’ll have to spend a minimum amount. For example, if you have a Restaurant.com gift card for $25 (and you purchased it for $10), you’ll most likely have to spend $50 at the restaurant in order to use the gift card.
11. Split your meals and the cost.
Restaurant portions are often more than you need. My husband and I try to solve this issue by sharing an entree. Most restaurants will typically split the dish for us or at least give us an extra plate. By doing this, we can also order a dessert, appetizer, or drinks, and still save.
12. Sign up for rewards programs and get money back.
Most banks have rewards programs through a credit or debit card. Keep an eye on the fees and earn points as you spend, because those points add up—in money back, free trips, or hotel stays.
Couples should take advantage of airline rewards too. For example, Alaska Airlines offers a companion flight once a year for only $99 when you sign up for their credit card.
13. Sync up your couponing efforts to save more.
When partners coupon together, they can divide and conquer to save even more. For example, you manage most of the grocery store coupons and deals, while your partner focuses on appliances, electronics, and online coupon codes.
Learn more: How to Coupon as a Couple