The decision to start a family is crucial not only for you and your significant other, but also in terms of your finances. A path toward financial success will give you one less thing to worry about and allow you to focus on your future and your children.
Here are just a few easy ways you can start to save money before starting a family to invest in your future.
1. Limit Spending on Your Unnecessary Purchases
Although this certainly should come as no surprise, limiting your spending and not allowing yourself to indulge in every unnecessary purchase will be a game-changer for you and your partner.
Those shopping sprees and weekly trips to your favorite restaurant may seem worth it at the moment, however, they may be eating away at your savings more than you may realize. The occasional shopping spree and indulgences are well deserved, but it’s also important to be honest with yourself and think of where you can cut out excess spending.
There are a few ways you can begin to decrease your overall spending. From setting a monthly spending limit to creating a list of items you’re regularly overspending on such as takeout, whichever avenue you decide to go down, breaking down your spending habits and making better money habits will increase your chances of having a solid savings plan for the future.
2. Cut Down on Home Expenses
If you own a home with your spouse or long-term partner, you’ll know that home expenses can add up quickly. From home repairs and utility payments to your usual monthly mortgage, owning a home can eat up a large chunk of your income. When you bring in additional savings to support these expenses, they can be the difference that allows for further financial stability, especially in the first few months of your child’s care where expenses run high.
One easy way you can save money on your monthly mortgage payments is by refinancing your home. Refinancing could allow you to save money on interest in the long term. This could potentially help you retain thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your loan and lower your monthly payment.
You may also want to consider looking into utility costs, and consider limiting your energy and water consumption. By taking shorter showers and turning off the lights whenever leaving a room, you could be putting money back into your pocket. Although these changes may appear to only make a small difference, the long-term savings will be well worth it!
3. Decrease Your Credit Card Spending
Overutilization of your credit cards is not only harmful to your credit score, but it may lead you to spend more than you normally would versus using your own checking account or cash. Furthermore, if you have debts that need to be paid on your credit card account, it’s even more critical that your efforts are focused solely on saving, not spending.
Avoid emotional spending and saving your credit card information on online retailers that can easily be autofilled. Set a limit for yourself when it comes to using your card. Stick to this plan until your debts are paid off and you’re in a financially secure place. This will increase your ability to carefully consider how much money you’re spending and make smarter choices on your purchases. Plus, you won’t have to worry about piling on even more credit card debt!
4. Budget Smarter, Not Harder
The age-old trick to keep a consistent budget is one that is often advised to couples looking to save money. After all, setting a monthly spending limit and accounting for all your monthly bills and expenses is a money habit everyone can practice. However, it’s important to understand what exactly you can do in order to improve your budget.
There are tons of different strategies for budgeting, and figuring out which one works best for your family will give you the best shot at maximizing your savings. A budget doesn’t have to be one size fits all; adjustments and custom plans will be much more beneficial. For example, a 50/30/20 budget is best if you want a simple, standard budget to follow.
A values-based budget may be more beneficial if you want to focus on a specific goal like paying off debt. Realistic expectations and a clear plan of action will be much easier to follow than a strict or inflexible budget. Plus, it’ll be much more likely to be followed and readjusted as you move forward.
5. Think Long-Term
From understanding when you’re financially able to retire to ensuring you have a plan to pay off all your debts, thinking long-term is one motivating factor that will make certain you’re saving enough money for all your life milestones. Make a list of your short and long-term financial goals to give yourself a vision to strive toward. While retirement may be decades away, if you’re just starting your own family, it’s never too early to save up for your future!
If you’re planning to finance your child’s education, you may also want to consider a 529 plan. This savings plan will give you the chance to invest and save your earnings toward their college tuition years before they graduate from high school. Even if your child decides to ultimately not pursue higher education, these funds can be potentially used or withdrawn in a number of ways.
There are pros and cons to a 529 plan, but it’s definitely something worth considering and could save you money in the long run!
Solid savings is one of the most important things you can work toward as you begin to start a family. Financial savings coupled with a plan for your future can give you financial stability and peace of mind. It’ll also bring your full attention to your partner and your future family.
As you get into the swing of things and practice good financial health, you can pass on and teach your children smart money habits to continue the cycle of financial success. Carefully thought-out financial habits are easier said than done. But the hard work will certainly pay off for you and your family. Now it’s time to start saving!
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