A savings plan might not sound romantic, but putting cash aside is definitely in vogue for money-savvy couples. You won't have to sit on milk crates instead of a couch or perform shadow puppet plays as entertainment on Friday nights to build your savings account. Painless cutbacks give you traction toward your bigger goals. Whether you want security in a scary economy or a trip to a tropical destination, penny-pinching on everyday expenses gets you there faster.
Set up a separate savings account for the money you set aside. If you are saving for different purposes and are having difficulty keeping it all straight, consider setting up separate savings accounts for each purpose.
Write a household budget that lists all of your expenses and shows how much money is left after everything is paid. Figure in the amount you want to go into savings based on the available money. If money allocated to other expenses goes unused during the month, deposit it into your savings account to build it up even faster.
Cut back in areas of the budget when possible without completely cutting out things you enjoy. Apply the difference to your savings account. For example, if you cut out $50 by getting rid of your land line phone in favor of your cell phones, deposit an extra $50 to your savings account each month.
Set up a weekly automatic deposit into the savings account that coincides with your paycheck deposit. Automatic transfers mean the money won't hang out in your checking account, tempting you to use it for that cute pair of heels or a new video game.
Sign up for a debit card that rounds up your purchases to the next dollar amount and deposits the difference in your savings account. Since it's a small amount each time, you won't probably notice it, but the change builds up over time. Not all bank cards have this feature, but it's worth asking if your bank offers it.
Save your loose change in a jar or piggy bank, just like you did as a kid. When the jar is filled to the brim with shiny coins, haul it to the bank for deposit. The change-counting machine at the bank takes care of all the work and you get a boost to your savings account.
Sell those old CDs that are collecting dust in the corner. Schedule a garage sale or sell off bits and pieces of your clutter collection on online sales sites. You clear out the clutter, reclaim space in your nest, and get a wad of cash to take to the bank.
Cut back on indulgences and habits that cost money. Sure your daily gourmet latte jolts you awake each morning, but that money could help you build your savings. Quit or cut back on expensive coffee, cigarettes, alcohol or indulging your shoe obsession and put that money in your savings account instead.
Work an extra job temporarily to increase your savings. Make sure you leave openings in your schedule to spend quality time together as a couple.
- Open your savings account at a different bank than your checking account if you're too often tempted to dip into it. Transferring money won't be as easy if the accounts are not linked.
Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.