Studies have shown time and time again that finances tend to be one of the biggest arguments between couples. Communicating about money is not easy but is definitely necessary. If you have never sat down and talked about finances, now is the time.
If you find you and your mate constantly combat over the bank account, a money challenge may be the answer. Doing one as a couple will help to keep not only your finances on track but also your relationship.
The goal: A 12-month Money Challenge
A great way to kick-start your finances is through a 12-month money challenge. You could pick the amount you think you could dedicate each month, but here is what we recommend:
- January: $50
- February: $75
- March: $100
- April: $125
- May: $150
- June: $175
- July: $175
- August: $150
- September: $125
- October: $100
- November: $75
- December: $50
Of course, you don’t have to wait until the new year to begin. Just begin this savings plan at the start of the month and mark it down in your calendar.
Try not to focus on what the amount is per month, if that seems overwhelming, and focus on the daily or weekly breakdown. So, for instance, if you are putting aside $175 in the month of June per the money challenge, that comes out to roughly $5.83 per day or $43.75 a week. That’s not so bad, right? Not to mention, $50 in one month comes out to approximately $1.67 per day and $12.50 per week. By making adjustments each month in your spending, you can easily accomplish this as a couple.
The Alternative: The 12-week Option
Too impatient for a 12-month money challenge? You can break this down into a 12-week money challenge that you do quarterly to make higher gains. We’ve covered this challenge before here, but you can take it one step further by increasing the weekly amount. Every week, contribute the following to savings:
- Week 1: $65
- Week 2: $75
- Week 3: $95
- Week 4: $100
- Week 5: $65
- Week 6: $75
- Week 7: $95
- Week 8: $100
- Week 9: $65
- Week 10: $75
- Week 11: $95
- Week 12: $100
Start with $65 instead of just $60, and during the second 12-week challenge point, start with $70 instead of $65. Keep increasing each amount by $5 to really see some growth.
Again, you could choose amounts based on your current budgets, but at some point, you need to make cuts in order to build financial growth. By doing the 12-week money challenge four times a year using the formula above, you could save $4,380 each year.
Save money, save your relationship
As you set aside this money, decide if you have a specific use in mind for the savings or if its purpose will be to just build your emergency savings account. Want to see it grow even farther? Choose to deposit it into a savings account that builds interest over time on your money.
What makes these particular challenges so great is that you can decide where you can adjust your expenses and watch your savings grow as a team. To really get the most of these two challenges, though, you should also work on tracking your daily spending. This is an overall positive habit to develop in general to keep the excessive splurging down to a minimum.
Whichever route you choose, pick one and stick to it. As your finances begin to grow, challenge yourself to contribute even more each week or month. Be sure to also make sure you and your significant other are on the same page with finances before even attempting a money challenge. The point will be moot if you disagree on how and where the household income should spent.
While many money challenges exist, we feel this one is great for couples.
Zero Effort Money Saving Hack
It seems like there is a new smartphone app coming out every day. Recently, there has been an increase in applications that help you with your finances. One of the best personal finance apps is Empower. Empower analyzes your savings and makes small withdrawals from your account and transfers it to a savings account. It is easy to install and makes saving effortless. Check it out.