Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Guest Post: Money Tips from The Newlywed Next Door

Hi Everyone! I was so excited when Frugal Femme and Budget Babe asked me to do a guest post for them on Lean with Green! I'm The Newlywed Next Door, a Newlywed from California who blogs regularly at http://www.newlywedsnextdoor.com/ about all things Newlywed.

I'm sure you've heard that money is one of the main things that married couples fight about and Newlyweds are no exception. So I wanted to give you a couple of my Newlywed money management tips.

Tip #1: Savings Account Management

I'm sure you've read a lot of great "saving" tips on Lean with Green, so first I wanted to share our best "saving" tip with you.

Divide your savings account into multiple sub-accounts.

That's right, break that one big savings account into several smaller sub-accounts for the key things you save money for. For example your sub-accounts could be: Emergency Fund, Home Repair/Furnishing Account, Travel Account, and General Savings Account.

This can be done really easily through Bank of American or ING. Here is what our ING Savings Accounts look like:

What this is great is that is makes you realize how little money you actually have in savings once you divy it up into those piles and can see it split that way.

For example, say you have $10,000 in general savings. Thats seems like a huge chunk of change. But once you break it into $5000 for emergency fund, $2000 for house fund, $2000 for Travel Fund, then you only have like $1000 of misc savings you realize that you should be saving more.

Now that we've divied up the accounts, we've set goals for each one to $x in Emergency, $x in Travel, etc.

Creating sub-accounts helps us realize our financial goals faster and it even makes saving a little more fun!

Tip #2: Credit Card Management

Credit cards can provide a lot of benefits if you use them properly. We get hotel points, cash back, airline miles, and much much more as result of our credit cards. But they can come with hefty fees if you don't pay them on time. When we got married we suddenly had five credit cards and we were always getting confused as to which ones we had/had not paid. We had to argue with Chase and Amex a couple of times when we accidently paid late.

So to avoid this I went online and figured out the date that all of our credit cards closed each month and the date they were due each month and put it an excel table in date order like this:

I then printed this out as well as emailed it to both of us to save in our email folders for easy reference. It has really helped us to see which cards were due when and we have not had a late fee since.

As a bonus, this helped us to go paperless and save trees, since we can manage all of these cards online and do electronic bill pay from our checking account.

Are there any other Newlyweds out there that have tips from merging finances, creating a budget together, or just dealing with dollars in general? I'd love to hear your comments!

1 comment:

  1. I have my savings with Bank of America and use their save the change plan. Which basically rounds up any purchase and puts the additional cents into my savings account. Its not much, but I like it!