How to save money with your spouse for financial freedom
16 mei 2021 
12 min. read

How to save money with your spouse for financial freedom

Dear Happy Investor, in many households, saving money is a sensitive topic. It’s common that one of you wants to save more money than the other. Looking at my own life, I had some difficulties with my spouse at the beginning. I wanted to save more money to work on financial freedom, while she wanted to live more in the moment. Eventually, we figured it out together, as a team.

Would you like to save more money together with your spouse, but do you find this difficult? In this article, you will learn how you can save money together with you. As a team!

Consider this as the first step towards the financial freedom of your family.

Let us begin!

Contents:

Step 1: Discuss why it’s important to save money together
Step 2: Make a plan with your spouse to save money
Step 3: Keep track of your financial goal
Step 4: Reward each other after realizing your financial goal

Step 1: Discuss why it’s important to save money together

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If you and your wife/husband want to save money together as a family, it is necessary to start with the why.

Why is it important to save money as a family?

This is a very important question that you should answer together. Your why may be different. It is crucial to understand each other. This will form the basis for creating a common goal. And in order to successfully save money with your spouse, it should be a common goal with full commitment from each side.

Below are three topics that you can bring up in the conversation with your spouse to talk about saving money.

1. A happier life thanks to financial freedom

A good reason why you would want to save money as a family is because it gives you more financial freedom. With financial freedom, you simply get more choices. So you can enjoy life more because you have more financial security. Financial freedom leads to a happier life, with more possibilities such as going on vacation and having more fun trips.

Another option is that financial freedom enables you to work less. Thus, you get more time available to spend together as a family.

In addition, financial freedom also gives the family more relaxation. After all, you don’t have to worry about money. How nice would it be to never experience financial stress again? To never again argue with your spouse about money? In short, financial freedom allows you to enjoy life more, if only because you will experience less stress.

One way to start your financial freedom is to work on passive income ideas.

2. Less (financial) stress thanks to a financial buffer

When you save more money with your spouse, you can build up a (larger) financial buffer. The need for such a buffer is often underestimated. Because when everything goes well, in economic prosperity, it all seems fine and the sun shines every day. But when things go wrong, for example, due to a layoff or an economic recession, then a financial buffer can be more than welcome. In fact, it is crucial. Because a financial buffer in adversity will save you a lot of stress as a family. That’s important for both of you because stress makes for less quality of life. And even worse: stress can also have a negative impact on your relationship and the family.

Prevent financial stress thanks to a good savings account. It is smart to have at least 5000 dollars as an emergency fund.

Would this be a good reason to convince your spouse that you should save more money as a family? If he or she is not convinced by now, there is one last reason why it is necessary.

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3. Set a financial goal and plan

One last good reason to convince your spouse to save more money is by setting a financial goal together. By defining a common goal, you will have something to work towards together. And this can also be a lot of fun!

While defining a common financial plan, you and your spouse can think about what you want to achieve financially. For example, do you want more financial freedom? Or perhaps build up a financial buffer? Or rather save up for a new house, a vacation, or a new car? It’s all possible.

By convincing your spouse to work together on a common goal, he or she will be more motivated to save more money.

Want to learn more about setting goals? Read this article about how to achieve goals in 9 steps.

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Are you still working hard for your money? Why don’t you consider letting the money work for you! Create passive income and attain financial freedom. Starting on the best investment platforms is half the battle. Do you want to know what the very best investment platforms are? Then click on the blue link to compare the best investment platforms now. Here you can read my independent comparison of the best online brokers for stocks, crypto, and P2P. Save money and choose the best investment platform!

Step 2: Make a plan with your spouse to save money

So how do we make a financial plan that enables us to save more money with our spouse? There are two main elements to such a plan. The first is to save money together. The second is reducing your expenses together.

Create a goal together to start saving money

Start your joint savings plan by seeing how much money from the monthly income you can save, without cutting back or anything. Decide together what percentage of your income you will save. A very effective method of keeping this going is to transfer the money to a separate savings account or investment account immediately upon receiving your monthly income. Then it’s permanent, and you can’t spend it again either. This is important because people tend to spend more money when they also have more money available. This is logical, by the way, but also a big pitfall for spouses who want to save together.

This is the classic example that it is better to count yourself as too poor than too rich. In fact, your actions will be different depending on your financial situation!

Once you’ve determined what percentage of your income you’re going to save, it’s time to look at how much money you can save on your current expenses.

Consider with your spouse how you can save money

As a family, you have monthly fixed expenses such as for the household. Often there are fixed expenses that are actually not necessary at all. And sometimes you even have expenses that you are not even aware of! That is of course a waste of money. By saving on these non-value-adding expenses, you will be able to save extra money in the interest of your financial goal.

An effective way to calculate how much money you can save is done in three steps. Step one is to make an organized calculation of your monthly expenses. The second step is to determine which expenses you can save on by eliminating them or saving a portion of them. The third and final step is to agree together on how much you will ultimately save on monthly expenses. Once you agree on this, put it down on paper. Not only will you not forget it, but this way the joint choice remains visible and tangible. Think of it as a reminder that you can hang up in the kitchen.

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Inflation is the enemy of your financial status, so invest your money wisely

Just saving money is not enough. Investing money in smart ways is especially important. Because if you only save your money and leave it in a bank account, the money will become worthless thanks to inflation. Suppose you get 0.2% interest in the bank, and inflation in that year is 2%. Then your money becomes worth 1.8% less, and so your purchasing power decreases (because you can buy less with the same money). When you have 10,000 euros in your bank account, that means a loss of 180 euros.

But if you invest your money without risk, then your money actually becomes worth more. For example, you buy a diversified ETF. Inflation is 2%, and the average return on a diversified ETF is 8%. Your money becomes worth 6% more. Instead of losing 180 euros, you will gain 600 euros. That’s a difference of 420 euros. Well that is what I call smart money behavior!

Will you repeat this smart choice for ten consecutive years? Then the difference is more than 4200 euros. This miracle is called compound interest.

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Step 3: Keep track of your financial goal monthly

Once you have made a financial goal, it is also necessary to keep track of your progress toward it. Not only will this let you know if you are still on track, but it works to encourage and motivate you as you approach the goal.

Look for quick wins

To keep the motivation high I recommend looking for quick wins. Or, quick wins. You do this by chopping the goal into small pieces, for example into weeks or months. When you then, for example, have achieved your percentage of savings each month, then that is a quick win. Of course, you want to celebrate this quick win with a beer and a glass of wine.

Have your money tied up if you have trouble staying away from it

This tip seems obvious, but not many people are able to carry it out. Now if you find out that for whatever reason you can’t manage to save, there is always the option of tying up your money. For example, you can buy government bonds or any other investment where your money is tied up for at least X number of years. If you can’t access it, you can’t spend it.

Keep track of your financial plan annually and improve where possible

Achieving goals is an ongoing process. Every day you work hard to achieve the goal. This also applies to a financial goal with a corresponding financial plan. And because it is a continuous process, it may be that you deviate (slightly) from your goal. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate your financial plan at least once a year. Are we still on track? Can we improve? Or perhaps: can we save even more?

Step 4: Reward each other after realizing your financial goal

When you have achieved your financial goal it is time to celebrate! As described in step 2, it is wise to invest (part of) your money. Like for example in a passive income like investing. If you’ve done it right, you’ll be left with a savings pot from this too. Make sure you enjoy the result and reward yourself. And if possible, make sure you still have a little leftover that you can invest in again. In this way, money can make even more money, and you let the money work for you instead of you having to work for money.

But first and foremost is to enjoy it. Enjoy the fact that you have managed to achieve the financial goal together. Enjoy life, you only live once!

About the author
Raised by an entrepreneur, a master's degree in Organizational Science and Strategy, and a passion for investing. My name is Jorik Vermeulen, Founder of Happy Investors . For years I have been sharing my knowledge of long-term investing in stocks and ETFs to help you get started!
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