You may have thought that the wedding was the most expensive thing you had to deal with when you got married, but in reality, there are so many things that happen in marriage that cost money. Don’t let that scare you though. As long as you work as a team and come up with a plan, it won’t be so bad.
As a couple, sit down and look into everything you will be spending money on and create a budget for each one. This will save money and offer help to keep track of your expenses.
Furniture and Appliances
When buying furniture and appliances, it can be easy to get caught up in the new and expensive things that have delivery and installation. Take a step back and realize that a lot of the furniture you may want can easily be bought at flea markets or yard sales! Ask around to family and friends to see if they have any items they were planning on getting rid of. You’d be surprised how quickly you can fill up your space with hand-me-down items. It’s also super easy to fix up furniture to match your new home.
If you are looking for unique items or brand items, try to shop at places like HomeGoods. They have great and unique name brand furniture and decor that come at a great price.
You likely had to buy groceries for yourself long before you got married, so you know that the weekly trip to get your essentials can get expensive. Once you are married though, you have to consider the fact that you’re buying enough for two people. That means double the shampoo and soap, double the toilet paper, and double the food. It can definitely get pricey but there are ways to make it easier on the wallet.
Make a meal plan for the week and stick to it! Having a meal plan will make it easier to shop because you know exactly what you need for each recipe. There will be no roaming around the aisles picking up useless food items that rack up the bill. Just don’t forget your meal plan and shopping list at home, and never go to the store when you’re hungry!
No one likes bills, especially when you are combining your debts together. Write down what your bills are as a couple so you’re aware of all of the expenses both of you have. It is good to know what the common bills in marriage are. These can include cars, credit cards, and student loans. Now imagine all of that times two. It can be a scary number to deal with each month but if you know how to budget your bills, it won’t be as bad.
Try to strategically plan what paycheck or bank account each bill will come out of and what day it will be paid. This gives you full control of your finances. If something is due at the end of the month but you do not get paid until the first of the month, call the company and ask if you can switch the due date around. If you have been good at paying the monthly payments on time, they might be willing to help you out and change the date if their policy allows it. If you need help working out, say, your monthly student loan repayments, there are plenty of resources online that could a wonderful help for those trying to work out a monthly budget, as you will be able to find out exactly how much that particular monthly expense is going to be.
Another great way to help with budgeting for bills is looking into lowering your monthly payments! (That is a thing, crazy right?) Your student loans can be refinanced and your credit card debt can be consolidated, which can save you big bucks on your monthly payments. The lower interest means you’ll be saving yourself in the long run, too!
Depending on what type of couple you are, vacations may be a necessity. You may love to travel together, and you might even have a bucket list of places to visit in a certain amount of time. Frequent trips can start to diminish your savings, so look for ways to cut down on costs. To save money, try and plan your vacations ahead of time. Booking last minute can cost a lot of extra money, as hotels and airfare will be at higher prices than normal.
If you are not picky about where to go, try to go on vacation to places that are close to home to skip the pricey flights! Whatever you choose, do the research and find the greatest deals. Being flexible can also open up great opportunities, so check out Groupon vacation deals for all-inclusive trips at a discounted price.
Depending on where you live, your type of lifestyle, and future plans, you may rent or buy a home. Buying comes with closing costs and a down payment, whereas renting simply comes with a security deposit and monthly payments. No matter which one you choose, it comes with expenses each month that you’ll have to take into consideration. Before choosing an exact place to live, set a budget that allows you to have what you want without breaking the bank. Deciding what you can afford is important so that you’re not house broke and struggling to make ends meet each month.
We all love a good date night and just because you are budgeting doesn’t mean you have to miss out on them! Just be smart about it. Set a limit for how many you have a month so you do not go overboard. Once you have the days picked out, plan the actual date ahead of time. It will skip the “I don’t know, what do you want to do” questions and the last minute “let’s just go out to eat.” Get creative and find free and cheap date ideas on Pinterest. Date nights don’t always have to mean leaving the house! There are plenty of ways to have date nights at home that won’t cost you anything. You’ll save money and get some much needed alone time.
Just remember that there are so many ways to budget so you and your spouse can find which ways work best for you and your marriage. As long as you are working as a team and communicating, budgeting won’t be as hard as it may seem.
What are your thoughts? Have you thought of things before? How are you tackling budgeting within your marriage? Are you a budgeter? Please share in the comments below. I really would love to know.
Until next time, shine amongst the stars!
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