5 Money-Saving Tips for Couples

Does it cost more or less to be a couple vs. being single? After all, if you’re part of a couple, you’ll be able to combine incomes. Which means you’ll have more money coming in – especially if Mr. or Ms. Right is independently wealthy.

Let’s assume your significant other is not a member of the Hilton family: how important is doubling your income?

To start, it depends on your habits. The reason that people think couples save more money is because they’re more frugal by design. If you’re single and looking for a significant other, you’re probably going out with friends several times a week and spending far too much money on drinks and meals–where a martini can cost the same as an entire bottle of Vodka. Eating out is one of the greatest money-drains out there. Conversely, couples can be homebodies: they’ve got each other so there’s less need to hit the town, and Netflix is pretty cheap.

Of course, that depends on the couple: there are plenty of jet-setting couples out there.

Combining paychecks has some other distinct advantages. More often than not, couples do not double their living space once they’re together – i.e.; if you’re two rather than one it doesn’t mean you go out and get a two-bedroom apartment. This means a couple can cut their rent costs in half. Utilities are higher, especially water costs – but all of these costs are not necessarily doubled, as the couple may be on a similar schedule. In other words, if a couple is watching the TV together, it doesn’t cost any more than a single person watching alone.

Put this way, it can make being a couple seem like a great financial investment. Well, it’s not quite as easy as that. Depending where a couple is in the relationship, there may be some more pressing financial concerns: first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…how does that go again? A couple may need to save a lot more money than a single person, as they’re thinking of potentially buying a home and raising a family. While a single person can be more carefree and go out every night, a couple needs to think seriously about the financial future.

Ways for Couples to Save Money

Given that couples may be thinking in the long-term rather than short-term in regard to savings, there are a few actions that couples should take to get on track for long-range financial goals:

  1. Combine rent payments: Let’s assume that you don’t own a home yet. Though you have more income at your disposal don’t blow it all on a fancy pad, as much as that may be tempting. You don’t have to sacrifice quality of life to save some money on rent payments.
  2. Manage your combined debt: This is a big one. In any couple, one person may be buried in mountains of debt, while the other might be a great financial planner. Well, now your significant other’s debt problems are your own. Pay off the high-interest debt first (especially credit card debt) and think about transferring that debt to a low interest balance transfer credit card with a 0% introductory APR of at least a year.
  3. Save money: Well, duh. But really, this means itemizing everything you’re spending. Buying a cup of coffee at Starbucks doesn’t seem like a lot here and there, but you add up all those little expenditures at the end of the month and you might see you’re losing hundreds of dollars monthly. As mentioned, eating out is a real money drain, so eating in is a great way to save on extra costs.
  4. Communicate: This might seem a little vague but it’s actually one of the more important issues in a relationship. If one person is being frivolous and one person is intent on saving money, this can wreak havoc on the relationship itself, not just on finances. According to a recent post at SavvySugar, the old adage of “opposites attract” definitely holds true with spendthrifts marrying tightwads all too often. Determine your goals and check periodically if you’re meeting those goals.
  5. Sell stuff: Some people collect books, CDs, clothes, and other stuff to make up for not having a special someone in their life. Ask yourself honestly: how much do you need this stuff now? In the age of the iPod, CDs aren’t as necessary, but there are still plenty of potential buyers. It’s possible to make a fair amount of money selling unnecessary belongings online. Some might see selling their stuff as a sign of desperation. It’s not: it’s just a way to get rid of the clutter and earn some money in the process.

Can two people live as cheaply as one? Well, maybe not. By with careful financial planning, a couple can reap more of the benefits of two paychecks by minimizing unnecessary expenses.

Maybe instead of “happily ever after,” it should be “frugally ever after”…

Have you found any savings as a couple vs. being single? Post ‘em in the comments below!

1 Response
  1. It is unavoidable to have debts but it must be managed responsibly and never let it crash your life. Spend more on basic needs and have a realistic budget. Always be cautious on the things you buy that is something worth of your money.
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