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15 Money-Saving Strategies for Couples

15 Money-Saving Strategies for Couples

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

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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

    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.

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      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

      combine 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.

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        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

        credit card

          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.

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          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.

          Images by jarmolukPublicDomainArchive

          Featured photo credit: Michael Pollak via flickr.com

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          Kayla Matthews

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          Last Updated on June 20, 2019

          50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

          50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

          Most people want a few more dollars in their wallets. But between an employer and family, the time most of us can devote to a second job is severely limited. Running a small side business can provide a few more options: you don’t have to show up at a set time and you can use skills you already have. Not all will be perfect for everyone, of course, and I’m sure that you’ll have a few ideas of your own after reading this list. If you’d like to share any other business ideas, please add them in the comments.

          1. Selling collectibles — From antique books to teddy bears, there are plenty of opportunities to buy and sell collectibles. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the collectible of your choice but if you choose something that you’ve been collecting for a while, you’ve got a head start.
          2. Locating apartments — It can take time to sort through apartment listings, but you can make some money by finding the perfect apartment for a renter.
          3. Baby proofing — New parents often prefer to bring in an expert to make sure their home is safe for a new baby.
          4. Calligraphic writing — If you’ve got elegant handwriting, you can pick up gigs writing or addressing wedding invitations, holiday cards and more.
          5. Selling coupons — Search on eBay for coupons right now and you’ll see thousands of listings for coupons. It’s just a matter of clipping and listing what you find in your Sunday newspaper.
          6. Pet training — A surprising number of people don’t know where to start in training a pet. Even teaching Rover simple commands like ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ can bring in a few dollars.
          7. Running errands — A wide variety of people want to outsource their errands, from those folks who aren’t able to leave their homes easily to those who have a busy schedule.
          8. Researching family trees — Amateur genealogists often call in experts, especially to handle research that has to be done in person in a far off place. If you’re willing to go to a local church and copy a few records, you can handle many family tree research requests.
          9. Supplying firewood — The prerequisite for selling firewood is having a source of wood; if you’ve got some land where you can cut down a few trees, you’ve got a head start.
          10. Hauling — As more people trade in their SUVs for compact cars, hauling is becoming more important: people have to rent a truck or hire a hauler for even small loads.
          11. Image consulting — Image consultants provide a wide variety of services, ranging from offering advice on appearance to teaching etiquette.
          12. Menu planning — For many people, the trip up in eating home-cooked or healthy meals is knowing what to prepare. Meal planners set a schedule to solve certain dietary problems.
          13. Microfarming — Cultivating food and flowers on small plots of land allows you to sell produce easily.
          14. Offering notary public services — Notary publics can witness and authenticate documents: a service needed for all sorts of official documents.
          15. Teaching music — If you’re skilled with a musical instrument, you can earn money by offering lessons.
          16. Mystery shopping — Mystery shoppers check the conditions and service at a store and report back to the store’s higher-ups.
          17. Offering research services — Just by reading up on a topic and compiling a report on it can earn you money.
          18. Personal shopping — Personal shoppers typically select gifts, apparel and other products for clients, helping them save time.
          19. Pet breeding — Purebred pets can be quite value, especially if you can verify their pedigree.
          20. Removing snow — During the winter months, shoveling walks can still be a reliable way to earn money. You might be asked to take care of the driveway too.
          21. Utility auditing — As people become environmentally-concious, they want to know just how efficient their homes are. With some simple testing, you can tell them.
          22. Offering web hosting services — Providing server space can be lucrative, particularly if you can provide tech support to your clients.
          23. Cutting lawns — An old standby, cutting lawns and other landscaping services can provide a second income in the summer.
          24. Auctioning items on eBay — Want to get rid of all your old stuff? Stick it up on eBay and auction it off.
          25. Babysitting — Child care of all kinds, from babysitting to nannying, can offer constant opportunities.
          26. Freelance writing — If you’ve got the skills to write clearly, you can sell your pen for everything from blogs to advertising copy.
          27. Selling blog and website themes — Do a little designing on the side? Customers that don’t want to pay full price for a website will often pay for a template or theme.
          28. Offering computer help — Particularly with people new to computers, you can earn money by providing in-home computer help.
          29. Designing websites — It may require a little skilled effort, but designing websites remains a reliable source of income.
          30. Selling stock photography — For shutterbugs, an easy way to put a photography collection to work is to post it to a stock photography site.
          31. Freelance designing — Check with local businesses: you can provide brochures, business cards and other design work and get paid a good fee.
          32. Tutoring — Math and languages reamin the easiest subjects to find tutoring gigs for, but there is demand for other fields as well.
          33. Housesitting / petsitting — Stopping in to check on a house or pet can earn you some money, and maybe even a place to stay.
          34. Building niche websites — If you can put together a site on a very specific topic, you can put targeted ads on it and make money quickly.
          35. Translating — The variety of translating work available is huge: written word, on the spot and more is easy to find even on a part-time basis.
          36. Creating custom crafts — No matter what kind of crafts you make, there’s likely a market for it. Etsy remains one of the easiest places to sell crafts.
          37. Setting up a wi-fi hotspot — With a little bit of equipment, you can set up a wi-fi hotspot and charge your neighbors for the access they’ve been ‘borrowing.’
          38. Selling an e-book — You can write an e-book about almost anything and put it up for sale online.
          39. Affiliate marketing — If you’re willing to market other companies’ products, you can earn a cut of the sales.
          40. Renting out your spare room — From looking for a long-term roommate to listing your guest room on couch surfing sites, that spare room can make you money.
          41. Offering handy man services — Handling small household tasks can provide you with plenty of work, although you’ll probably be expected to have your own tools.
          42. Teaching an online class — Share your expertise through a website, an online seminar or variety of other methods.
          43. Building furniture — For those with the skill to create handmade furniture, selling their creations is often just a matter of advertising.
          44. Providing personal chef services — Personal chefs prepare meals ahead of time for customers, leaving their customers with a full freezer and no mess.
          45. Event planning — From planning corporate events to bar mitzvahs, an event planning business can require plenty of work and offer plenty of pay.
          46. Installing home safety products — Particularly as Baby Boomers age, people able to install handrails and other home safety products are in demand.
          47. Altering / tailoring — If your sewing skills are up to par, altering garments is coming back as people try to stretch more wear out of their clothing.
          48. Offering in-home beauty services — Hair cuts, makeup and other beauty services that can be performed at home have a growing demand.
          49. Business coaching — Helping others to establish and develop their businesses can provide many opportunities to earn money.
          50. Writing resumes — Writing resumes can provide a reliable income, especially if you can put a polish on a client’s credentials.

          There are plenty of offers that claim to provide you with the opportunity to make thousands of dollars a week. Unfortunately, none of these businesses will provide that sort of income, but they aren’t scams either. They were chosen because they all require a minimum investment to get started — some require nothing more than a flyer advertising your business. Even better, if you do enjoy any of these businesses, there is a potential with most of them to continue to expand — perhaps even to the point of going full time.

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          Featured photo credit: Omar Prestwich via unsplash.com

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