You’re young, married, and the two of you have a bit of extra cash leftover to spend on things you love. Perhaps the two of you are thinking of buying a home one day, or maybe you need to get a car to replace your clunker. It could be that you’ve moved into your first place together and want to furnish it. Whatever your goals you two have got to figure a way to handle your spending together.
If you’re fortunate you’ve picked up some money lessons from your parents. Did they show you how they made purchases together? If not, there are some tips to help the two of you make smart purchases for your next big ticket item.
Set Up a Goal for Your Big Purchase
First thing for the two of you – deciding on goal to work towards. How much do you need to save up? You also have to determine when you’ll need it. For example, if you’re buying a house in the near future you’ll need to be extremely aggressive on how much money you set aside. Today’s financial climate has lender more stringent on what they’ll loan out. Having at least 20% down is becoming the smart move in order for you to take advantage of the best interest rates.
What if you’re looking at getting a new entertainment system in a year. For many, the monthly savings will be significantly less. The point is you two need to sit down and chat about what you want and when.
Now that you have a monthly amount, increase your success rate by automating all your deposits.When you wait until the end of the month to set aside your money, more than likely there won’t be much left. Instead set deposits to happen shortly after you paychecks clear.
Deposit your money into a FDIC bank or CUNA credit union in your neighborhood that offer (relatively) high interest rates for savings and won’t nickel and dime you with fees.
Shopping Around to Maximize Savings
Taking the first deal you find isn’t usually the best move. Instead look at your options and see if you can get competitors to give better deals by playing them off each other.
When we were looking at buying our first place, my husband and I had an excel spreadsheet listing the properties we had seen and were interested in. We chatted with the building company representative and got a lower price by mentioning what others were offering.
If you’re shopping for appliances or electronics, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Price Match: When we were looking at getting a new washer and dryer, we looked at the home improvement and electronic stores. We also looked at their price match offers. If you can get a low price from a retailer and get it price matched at their competitor which offers better service and maintenance, go for it.
- Price Alerts: If you can, sign up to get price alerts sent to you. sites like Slick Deals can see you email when items go on sale for a certain price.
My husband and I got a great deal with our washer and dryer by shopping around.
Do You Need Help with Money and Love?
Working together for big purchases can prepare you for other financial milestones like retirement, where you have to keep each other focused until you reach your goal.
I hope that helps and I hope that you take a minute or more to share your own stories. I’d love to hear your take on shopping and buying together. How do you two make big purchases? What system works and doesn’t work for you?
Are you still trying to balance love and money? Don’t forget to check out other posts in the series to assist as well:
- Would You Date a Cheap Person?
- How Do Financial Differences Affect a Relationship?
- When Should You Have the Money Talk as a Couple?
- When You Two Don’t See Eye to Eye on Money
- What Do You Do When Money Starts to Ruin a Relationship?
- How Do You Merge Your Finances Before Marriage?
Photo Credit: Lordcolus