If you and your partner have big plans coming up, whether it’s a vacation, marriage, new house or even a child, finding ways to pinch pennies can sometimes be difficult. However, there are some simple ideas to stretch dollars and cut corners in order to help you meet your financial goals. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are 15 money-saving tips to get you started.
1. Go on Dates That Cost Next to Nothing
While going out to classy restaurants, concerts and sports games can make for amazing dates, they can also run your bank account dry. If you’re trying to save money, coming up with inexpensive date ideas is key. Having a dinner and movie night in, going to see a local band at a free event, or even going for a hike are fun and cheap.
2. Sign Up For Free Customer Rewards Programs
Taking advantage of free rewards programs can help you cut corners easily. Many media services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Redbox offer free trials that can help you receive free movie rentals or get you waived shipping fees. Other types of rewards programs, which are through supermarkets or gas stations, can help you save money every time you shop.
3. If the Time Is Right, Move In Together
If you don’t already live together and are considering it, sharing a living space can save a huge amount of money. Not only do rent and utilities become easier to manage when you split the cost, but many other expenses like food and gas become cheaper as well.
4. When Furnishing A New Place, Buy Used
If you’re moving into an apartment and need furniture, buying new tables and chairs and everything in between can add up fast. Instead, bargain hunt at thrift shops, yard sales and flea markets. With a little TLC and a coat of spray paint, a coffee table or lamp can look like new. Or even better.
5. Consolidate Whenever Possible
To make the most of your money, consolidate expenses with your partner whenever possible. Easy things to consolidate include cell phone bills, magazine subscriptions and digital subscriptions.
6. Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies
Spending money on items you don’t necessarily enjoy purchasing, like cleaning supplies, can be a bummer, especially when those expenses start to pile up. Instead, buy natural ingredients and make your own.
7. Get Rid of Unnecessary Subscriptions
Magazine subscriptions, cable bills and online media subscriptions are often the biggest culprits when it comes to hidden expenses.
8. Make the Most of Grocery Shopping
Buying groceries is a huge drain on money, unless you do it right. Buy necessities (toilet paper, baking items and frozen food) on sale and in bulk. Also, before shopping, make an airtight grocery list so you don’t purchase anything unnecessary.
9. Take Cheaper Vacations
When possible, make your own meals and snacks instead of ordering out when you vacation. Also, look into camping instead of pricey hotels, or try to find a Groupon or other discount available.
10. Combine Your Finances
If you and your partner live together and share expenses, creating a joint account can help you create a budget for the items and expenses that you pay together, and save money in the process.
11. Have Frequent Discussions About Your Goals
When making any savings plan, it’s key to account for what your future goals are and what you’re actually saving for. By gauging what you want to have and what you want to accomplish in the future, you can adjust your savings plan as needed.
12. Adjust Your Insurance Policy
If you pay high monthly insurance bills, you understand how much of a drain this can put on your finances. You’re not the only couple feeling this, as 1.7 million people declared bankruptcy in 2013 because of medical debt alone. To help ease this load, look for ways to adjust your insurance plan so that it’s more affordable.
13. If You Have A Credit Card, Don’t Use It
If your goal is to pinch pennies and save money, stop spending with your credit card. While it may seem like a harmless way to boost your credit score, using this piece of plastic and becoming a little to trigger happy with it, can come with serious financial consequences.
14. Make A Debt Plan
If you and your significant other are currently in debt, making a plan to help you overcome it efficiently is all too important. By assessing your debts together, you can more comprehensively determine the best repayment plan to reduce expensive interest and get out of debt quicker.
15. Re-Finance Your Student Loans
Going to college wasn’t cheap, and you’re likely left with the student loans to prove it. If you and your significant other both have a plethora of student loans, do your best to consolidate.
Saving money can often feel like an impossible challenge. However, by making simple changes to how you and your partner spend and save, you can grow your savings at a faster rate.
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Featured photo credit: Michael Pollak via flickr.com