Most people hate dealing with money or talking about money, they normally just like spending it! I (Carissa) was the opposite growing up! I had a love (maybe an addiction) to saving money. I did a lot of babysitting as a teenager and between that and saving up my cafeteria money, I was able to save thousands of dollars before I graduated! I often missed out on certain opportunities because I didn’t want to spend money. Matt, however, was the opposite. As soon as he earned some money, he was ready to go spend it! The reason I wanted to save was I was very “future” oriented. I wanted to be ready to buy a car with cash. I wanted to be ready to buy a house when we got married. Seems kind of funny, but one of the most romantic moments of our dating days was when Matt told me, “You know what, I’m going to really work hard at saving my money because I want to marry you!”
My love of saving money came in handy when I worked with one of the best financial planners, Jeremy Low, right out of highschool. He taught me so much about growing a successful business and encouraged me to take a more business route and pursue financial planning. I was so thankful I made that transition as working with him as an administrator and running my own financial planning business for a few years prepared me for helping Matt run our photography business.
Although we had a few disagreements of money over the years (Matt is definitely a lover of gadgets), overall, as a young married couple we were able to make good decisions about money- allowing us to have a family at a young age and buy a home that we love! Here are just a few tips that we’ve learned along the way:
1) The Latte Factor
One of my favorite financial authors, David Bach, described the Latte Factor in his book “The Automatic Millionaire”. Overall, we all feel like we work hard – whether you are an employee, a student, an employer, a mom – we seem to be busier than ever! We deserve a few “treats” throughout the day! At least that’s what we tell ourselves.
Let’s say everyday you stop off at Starbucks on your way to work and buy a double nonfat latte and muffin for $5 and then grab some lunch at the local shop for $8. No big deal.
Everyday you spend $13
Every month that is $286 (not including weekends)
In a year that is $3,432
In a decade that is $34,320
All of a sudden that measly $13 we spent is kind of a big deal.
We often feel like we don’t have enough money to put away money into savings at the end of the month. Who has an extra $250 at the end of the month? If you are buying little things like a latte and lunch – you probably do! 🙂
2) Pay Yourself First
Most people tend to wait until the end of the month to see if they have any money leftover to put into a savings account. What normally happens? You have no money left for the savings account. Instead of paying yourself last, pay yourself first. If you make $5000 a month, pay yourself at least 10% of that to put into savings, so as soon as you make your money, you put $500 into savings. It is best to put it in either a high-interest savings account,possibly into a TFSA, not just a normal savings account at the bank that makes no interest.
3) Make it Automatic
“The Automatic Millionaire” encourages people to make everything automatic, including saving your money. Just like some of your bill payments like gas, telephone….make your savings automatic. It is just like your bill payments, but instead of that $500 going toward another company, it is going to you! If saving $500/month, all of a sudden you have $6000 in your savings account at the end of the year.
4) Ask your spouse about major purchases
I think when we did pre-marital counseling, we were encouraged that for purchases over $50 that we needed to discuss it. This number may seem a little bit low, but make a number you are both comfortable with and especially in the first few years of being together, talk about bigger purchases. This has become a habit for us and for the most part, we know how each other will feel about certain purchases. Not saying we haven’t had our moments. One of us decided to buy 2 electronic helicopters to play with the kids for almost $100! Let’s just say those were refunded.
5) Set Goals
Dream together. Decide what’s important for both of you. Be sure to write down goals you have financially. Do you want to go on a trip to Mexico? Are you looking to buy a new home in 5 years? Are you looking to start a family?
Take some time as a couple at least every year to talk about what goals you have and how you’re going to get there! It is also valuable to have a financial planner. We know some great ones, so send us a message if you’re looking for one!
What are some money tips you’ve learned along the way?