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Money can be a huge source of stress, but it doesn’t have to be.
Today I’m going to share 5 ways you can simplify your finances so you two can enjoy your marriage and money!
Simplify and Reboot Your Money
How do you feel about the progress you’ve made this year with your finances?
If you’re not quite happy with where you are right now, don’t panic. There’s still plenty of time to reset and reboot things with your money.
Since my Dump Debt Together session aired last Monday as part of the Mamas Talk Money Summit, I have been keeping busy answering some of your questions about changing things up for the better.
I’ve noticed that the biggest concern is getting the ball rolling.
You’re more than welcome to dig around the site and podcast. With over 1,000 articles and 300+ episodes, we cover a lot here on Couple Money.
But I know that approach can make you feel overwhelmed so today I want to wrap up this special series on the podcast with how you can get started.
In this episode we’ll look at:
- habits to develop that will make your finances much easier to handle
- key numbers to track (and which to pass on)
- An easy way to reboot your money
Hope you enjoy!
Resources to Hit Your Money Goals
If you two are looking to improve how you talk and work together with your finances (and lives), please check out these resources.
- Reboot Your Money Course: Get it half off (only $10!) by using discount code PODCAST
- Best Budget and Money Apps: Personal Capital, Tiller, Mint, Zeta, and Honeyfi
- Jumpstart Your Marriage and Your Money
- Grow Your Stash Faster: High Yield Savings with CiT Bank
- Automatic Saving: Qapital
- Free 401(k) Analysis: blooom
- Why Most People Fail with Their Goals (And How You Can Win!)
If you want to discuss talking with your spouse about money, ask questions, or share your own tips please join us over at Thriving Families on Facebook.
5 Ways to Simplify Your Finances
Whether you’re the spreadsheet king or queen or more the big-picture person, I think we can all agree that we want to streamline our finances so you can focus on the people and things that matter to us.
You can really dive into the weeds with finances and debate the minute, but if you’re looking for big wins not only with your money but your marriage, here are 5 things you need to focus on.
#1: Go on Regular Money Dates
Why do I talk about money dates so much? It’s because they work!
Pretty much every couple whose paid down debt, saved a significant amount, or is on the path to financial freedom does this.
They may call it something else (like Andy and Nicole with their budget parties 🙂 ), but the idea is the same.
Having a regular time where you’re in a relaxing and low key environment to get together to discuss your dreams and your money
It can be a night out at one of your favorite restaurants or you’re just in the backyard relaxing with a glass of wine by the firepit.
Wherever and however you have your money date, you want to make sure you look at the goals you’ve created together (your WHY) and then review your numbers.
Knowing your budget, your monthly cash flow, and net worth is smart.
If you’re not sure how to start or even begin the conversation about finances, pick up my Jumpstart Your Marriage and Your Money.
I take you step by step through money dates, with conversation starters and ice breaks. I also share a 4-week plan to get you two on the same page with money.
#2 Switch to a 50/30/20 Budget
If the idea of making a budget makes you break out in hives, then you have to switch things up.
Typically when someone is complaining about a budget, there are a few key reasons. The root of it for many is that there’s no room in the budget for what matters to you. It’s so strict, you can’t any fun with things.
And while that might look like a good idea on paper – you think you’re going to get out of debt faster or hit your goal sooner – it’s usually an exercise in frustration.
Sustainable is the way to go and for most couples, it’s a process and one of the best budgets to get you started on that path is the 50/30/20.
As you probably figured out, your money (net income in this case) goes into one of three ‘buckets’ of expenses.
- 50% Essentials: This covers your ‘needs’ like rent/mortgage, food, utilities, and necessary transportation.
- 20% Financial Priorities: This money is allocated for your future such as investing for retirement and taking care of important money goals now like having an emergency fund and paying off your debt.
- 30% Wants: These are your lifestyle choices. What do you two enjoy?
#3: Automate Your Budget
A simple trick that’s helped us is scheduling the bills to come out 48 hours after the deposits gone in.
You can use track your progress with apps and options such as:
- Personal Capital – If you have a ton of accounts between you, this makes it easy to sort them out.
- Tiller – Love how easily you can customize it based on your unique budget.
- Zeta – Created for couples, by couples, Zeta is designed around how you two want to share your accounts.
- Honeyfi – One of the first on the couple money app scene and very focused on getting you to share goals.
- Mint – If you’re looking to get a handle on your budget, Mint is a very visual way to see what’s happening.
Don’t forget that along with bills, you want to automate things like your debt snowball or if savings if that’s your goal.
#4: Only Use Cash When Eating Out
Chances are eating out is a big expense with your monthly budget. Those quick lunches with coworkers seem small, but those constant convenient and on the go meals typically add up to more than you estimated.
Something that I’ve seen that’s helped me curb my spending is using cash.
There are families that like to use cash for multiple expenses and they stash them into different envelopes to track things down, but for me, that was too much work.
I’ve found that just using cash for lunches keeps me aware of what I‘m spending and minimizes me breaking the budget.
#5: Develop Laser Focus on Your Goals
Don’t try to work on all your expenses across the board. You can burn out quickly trying to slash multiple expenses at once.
I think one reason systems like Dave Ramsey’s baby steps are so effective is that they have you laster focus in on one step or goal at a time.
You begin with a starter emergency fund, then it’s all in with paying down debt, then you can fully fund your savings, and so on.
While you don’t have to be as gazelle intense as some people are – it can actually backfire with getting your spouse on board – having a priority can be powerful.
Want to optimize your spending? Try monthly challenges with one thing. Give the cash envelope a go next month.
I want you to build better habits, not go for quick wins that get undone by the next month.
If you’re pressed for time, there are options like Trim that can save you money by canceling subscriptions, finding deals with insurance, or negotiating with your cable bill.
Just focus on one thing at a time each month and by the end of the year, you’ll have some big wins.
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