How would it feel to have greater financial security in your family? If you and your spouse work together as a team saving money, you’ll soon end with more cash to reach your financial goals.
To be clear, I’m not a certified financial expert by profession. I’ve earned a Mechanical Engineering degree and have been working as a Coating Engineer for almost 7 years now.
But my partner and I have learned to stretch our hard-earned dollars and cut corners to save for our family’s future. Maya, our daughter, is still a toddler but as early as now, we’re preparing ourselves for the high cost of primary school plus the occasional travels that we’ve been planning to do together once the pandemic is over.
And it won’t take too long before we’d save up for her college tuition too. So, the best way to get into the savings groove is to develop the habit of saving right away.
Even before we got married, Stefan and I had already set our savings goals. We set aside a portion of our incomes every month in the hopes of living the life we’ve always wanted on our own terms.
In addition, we knew that our financial responsibilities that moment we decided to have a baby would change. We’d trade our budget for weekend drinks for diapers and educational toys. It’s a new world now, and getting right on our financial moves can make the difference.
We also want to have the convenience of spending on essential things without feeling guilty about it. And when the time comes that we’d retire from work, we want to travel more often and explore the far corners of every continent (hopefully with our grandkids too).
We also don’t want to be beaten down by financial stress and lose our self-esteem along the way. Who wants to get overwhelmed by money worries and take its toll on one’s physical and mental wellbeing? Certainly not us.
Finally, saving money is a form of achievement too. For many couples, it’s an impossible challenge to even make ends meet. So, for every dollar that goes to our savings account, we feel delighted for not breaking the budget we set every month.
Saving money is a great way to ensure financial security and stability for your family. It can also help you achieve the dreams of traveling, starting a business or even pursuing surrogacy... which was a reason for Stefan and myself to save up.
Whether it’s saving up for diapers or college tuition fees, budgeting tips are sure to come in handy when trying to stretch your hard-earned dollars. With careful planning and dedication, Stefan and I have managed to save enough for our first surrogacy journey and we are hoping for a second.
One of the biggest issues with money-saving tips is when you and your partner are not on the same page. It may be because you have different spending priorities, or one has uncontrollable spending habits and lacks money management skills. Gaining the support of your partner to be on board with your financial decisions is the first step towards a healthy money-saving habit.
Second, financial stress can be aggravated by the lack of discipline when it comes to tracking one’s expenses. Experts advise against writing down every dollar that comes out of your wallet. Otherwise, you’d end up less motivated to set your budget limits. However, if you can’t track your large expenses, then there’s no use practicing money-saving tips in the first place.
So, be sure to work on these issues first before following these tips.
You may have forgotten about that $10-a-month digital news subscription that you signed up for three years ago, or that expensive subscription box that you really don’t need anymore. It’s time to check your past subscriptions by going through your emails (including the spam folder!) and cancel those that you don’t need.
Subscription-tracking apps such as DoNotPay, Truebill, TrackMySubs, Trim and Clarity Money not only help you identify unneeded subscriptions, but also simplify cost-cutting plans, set up alerts when a payment has been made, among others. Most of these are free and the developers earn by getting a commission from the savings you get.
Figure out what triggers your emotional spending and causes you to shop for things that you don’t really need. Does stress at work contribute to your shopaholic behavior? Are you unhappy with your situation that you believe buying a new gadget can make you feel better? It’s time to take a step back and discuss this with your partner. If you can’t agree, seek professional help before it’s too late.
Arrange with a bank to have a portion of your paycheck automatically transferred into another savings account. This makes moving your money a lot easier and you don’t have to worry about overspending. By “paying for yourself” early, what you have left can be made for your bills payment and discretionary expenses.
You don’t really need that new bookshelf or a pair of ottomans from IKEA for your living room. You can search for great finds at the nearby thrift shop or neighborhood yard sale. It just needs a fresh coat of paint or a minor upholstery on used furniture.
Instead of ordering two appetizers and entrées, ask for an extra plate so you can share what’s on the table with your spouse. Take note though that some restaurants charge for sharing meals.
It’s time to bring out the lunchbox! Not only can you cut down on your daily spending when you skip buying lunch from the cafeteria but you can also plan to follow a week’s worth of healthy meal plan that includes fruits and vegetables.
If you’re in a dual-earning partnership, you can try to live off on one of your incomes and save the other. This is a great way to build your savings, pay off your debts or purchase a house in the future.
Here in Canada, we’re not allowed to file joint income tax returns unlike in the United States. But there are ways to save on taxes such as contributing to your spouse’s registered retirement savings plan, combining charitable contributions, and claiming part of your spouse’s college tuition expenses.
Many couples have found themselves in deep debt because of excessive credit card use. When you go out, use cash to pay for your purchases or if this seems inconvenient, use a debit card instead.
Following these money-saving tips may look easy but if you’re not used to putting money management skills into practice, then you’d better work it out with your spouse. Learn when to cut your losses and never lose sight on where your money goes.
Stefan and I saved our money for surrogacy to grow our family because we wanted to provide a stable, loving home for any potential children. We knew that having the financial security of savings would eliminate much of the stress associated with parenting and allow us to give every child all they need in life. Although it was hard at times, making sacrifices now meant that we could ensure a bright future ahead. Now, after years of careful budgeting and saving, we are on track for our second surrogacy journey – something that wouldn’t have been possible without being disciplined about our finances!
If you want to achieve a financial future for your family, start with a financial goal and work your way together to make it happen.