Money and relationships are often a tangled web. About 40 to 50% of married couples divorce, according to the Family Council. Many of those divorces are linked to financial problems or disagreements. Saving money for a new house can be a stressful time for a relationship if you don’t have a plan. Here are some tips to help you and your partner save for a new home that can reduce stress.
Get Real About a Budget
How much money do you and your partner need each week? Money can “disappear” when you aren’t diligent about tracking where it goes. The first thing you and your partner should do is sit down and evaluate your budget. Track spending for a month. You may be surprised to find that it isn’t the big bills that are killing your finances; it’s the small spending that’s dinging your finances the hardest.
Come up with a budget you can both live with and stick to it. You may have to sacrifice your morning coffee on the way to work and eat more lunches from home, but in the end, it will build your savings faster.
Cut Back On The “Extras”
Take a closer look at your subscriptions. Some apps can do the work for you. That extra $20 to $50 a month that you’re spending on duplicate streaming subscriptions can add up when you’re trying to save money. How often do you go to the gym? Can you justify the expense of your gym membership? Take a look at all the things you’re paying for every month, and start cutting the fat.
Saving money to buy your first home is well worth giving up the extra streaming entertainment or exercising at home instead of going to the gym. The more you cut back, the more you’ll save.
Don’t Change Your Standard of Living
If you get a raise, a bonus, or a nice-sized tax refund, don’t change your standard of living. Save all the extra windfall money you get. Saving any windfall will help to build your savings account quickly. A couple of thousands of dollars can pad your savings nicely.
Stick to your budget and make sure the windfall money goes right into your savings account. You can’t miss what you never had.
Stay Home More
Have a date night at home. Watch movies at home. Cook together. Invest in little things at home that will be enjoyable, but that won’t dent the budget. About 88% of homeowners report that they enjoy staying home after painting the interior of their home, according to House Grail. Make your current home a place you don’t mind being.
Staying home more often will help you to save in many ways. Forgo vacations and functions that will cost money. Instead of dinner out, consider inviting friends over for a potluck meal.
Plan For the Added Expenses
When you’re saving for a new home, plan for the potential “hidden expenses” of buying a new one. While adding a new roof to a house will provide you with a return of about 85% when you resell, according to the Realtors Association, you still need an emergency fund to cover the costs. Don’t just save towards a down payment; save to have enough money to cover moving costs and make repairs during the first year. It’s better to wait until you have a nice savings balance before you buy the house.
Money can be a tough subject for many couples, but it’s a conversation you should have frequently. Be sure to keep the above tips in mind as you and your partner form a plan of action for buying a new house. Good luck, and happy saving!