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How many times has this happened? You two have been paying bills and have managed to pay down your credit card cards.
Things have been going well, but the budget is a bit tight. Then as you drive home you run over a nail and discovered that your tire needs to be replaced.
You take it over to your local mechanic shop right away as you have work tomorrow and they tell you with everything included, it’ll be $150.
How would you feel when faced with this unexpected expense?
- Relieved– You’re not happy to buy a new tire, but you”re grateful to have enough in savings to cover that expense.
- Annoyed – You have savings to pay for the tire, but your small savings have been wiped out.
- Worried– You don’t have any money in savings, but you have a credit card you can use to take care of it.
- Stressed – This is one of the worst things that could happen to you two. You have no pay for the repairs. Your savings is depleted and your credit cards are maxxed out.
As you see in the scenario above, there are a few ways you can feel about it.
What’s the difference?
Many times it’s about whether or not you have a savings system in place.
You need to make sure that your joint checking and savings accounts are helping you financially.
Making Saving Simple
I’ve mentioned before that having a game plan as a couple is a big part of reaching your financial goals.
Having a financial cushion that works for both of you can ease a lot of stress. Once you have a ballpark figure on how much to save, the toughest part is over.
Getting money deposited can actually be incredibly easy, depending on how you set it up.
For us, we found that automating deposits has been amazingly helpful.
We don’t have to worry if we’ll have enough money left over to deposit to savings at the end of the month because we made savings a ‘bill’ and had it automatically transferred along with our other necessary bills like the mortgage and utilities.
If you worry about not being able to handle savings into your budget, then start off with a small amount (like 5% of your take home pay).
It will be small enough that most budgets can handle it while it is big enough for you to get some savings built up.
Once you feel comfortable with that habit, increase the amount bit by bit until you’ve reached your savings goals.
I’m not saying our savings system and accounts are the best way to go for you. I’m just pointing out how the system has helped us. I know everyone has their own system, so I’m curious to see how you guys do it.
Looking for a Boost in Your Savings?
We’ve happily been using Capital One 360 to take care of our finances for many years (back when it was ING Direct).
Big pluses for us are their customer service, interest rates, and no maintenance fees.
You can check them out here to see if they’re the right fit for you.