There is no question that weddings are an expensive affair. Even the most modest wedding will set the newly-wed couple a few thousand dollars back. And in today’s unpredictable economic times, people are already stressed about saving money. It is important to understand that while saving money is a worthy goal. It is not something that happens overnight. One has to develop discipline, remain motivated and committed.
Here are some tips for couples who were recently married and are determined to get their finances back in shape:
- Make a budget: If you want to save money after a wedding, the first step is to make a budget. Make a list of all the things that you spend every month and divide them into essentials and non-essentials. Eliminate as many non-essential expenditures that you can. The only way to save money is to make sacrifices, and some of them will be painful. Many times, we spend money on things we don’t need or use. For example, if you are a member of an expensive gym and rarely go, cancel that membership and take up walking every day. Not only is walking a healthy exercise, but it’s free.
- Save on car insurance: With the COVID-19 pandemic creating havoc worldwide and with people working from home and practicing social-distancing, many are not driving as much as they did before. Some insurance companies are offering discounts and promotions that would be useful for this new normal. Now that you’re married, it’s time to shop around and compare insurance rates as married drivers typically pay less for car insurance than single drivers do. Likewise, consider bundling insurance. If you insure your home and your car with the same company, the discount is even bigger. With your new marital status, now’s the time to browse online, compare rates, and make an informed decision on how to best save on car insurance as a couple.
- Cut down on that coffee: One of the biggest ways people throw away money is buying coffee 2-3 times a day. This can easily cost you $5-$10 a day, depending on your coffee type and size. Ask yourself: do you need to “buy” coffee every day? Why not buy yourself a coffee maker instead and make your own coffee. You can easily save $1000 to $2000 a year on coffee alone.
- Get rid of Cable TV: Since you just got married, get rid of the cable and spend time with your significant other. The price of cable has been going up every year, and premium channels easily cost $70-$100 a month. Who needs cable now anyway? Everything is available on YouTube, and with very low monthly memberships, you can get access to some excellent content on Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu etc. If you become a member of Amazon Prime, for example, not only do you get free delivery of groceries, you get access to free music, video games, and movies. The cost is $10 a month, which is far cheaper than cable. Also, getting rid of your cable can help you change your lifestyle. Go outdoors, start a new hobby, or read books.
- Travel off-season: If you plan to take a vacation, do not go during peak season when the prices are high. Instead, travel during off-season months, and you will be surprised by the huge discounts airlines and hotels offer.
- Cut down on restaurants: Another major expense for many people is eating out. You can expect to pay $50 or more for a decent dinner for 2. This can amount to a significant amount of money if you eat out every few days. Why not cook at home? Not only is this healthier, but you will save a ton of money.
- Stop relying on your credit card: One of the best ways to save money is to not carry your credit card when you leave home. While the credit card is handy, people often use it to buy things they don’t need. Only use the credit card for essential purchases. To avoid overspending with your credit card, you could call the credit card company and place a limit on the card.
- Bank wisely: Banks love overcharging you with fees for services you don’t even know or understand. For example, if you use an ATM machine that is not associated with your bank, you can be charged $2-$3 per transaction. If your bank balance is low, and you go over the balance, you will be charged another fee. Over time, these fees can add up. Avoid using other ATMs, and either use your bank’s ATM or go to your branch for withdrawal. Get overdraft protection and save on unnecessary fees for non-sufficient funds. Keep an eye on your balance to see what bank charges are being put on your account.
Saving money can take some effort, but it is not an impossible task. Now that you are married and starting a new chapter in your life, you may want to save money for things you both want to enjoy. Make some changes in your spending habits, and you will see a difference very soon.