We are continuing the conversation about Happy Habits we talked about on this post. What ways do you establish money systems to make life easier? With the end of the year in-sight and the holidays just around the corner, money can get tight, and talking about it with your partner even trickier, but it is worth it and will help your peace of mind. Here are a few things that have helped immensely and if you plan it out just a little, treat yo’ self!
1 – Have a budget and track your money. Knowing where your hard-earned money is going is half the battle. Everyone has their unique way to deal with cash, but figure out what your style is and be consistent! I am a big fan of having a budget and YNAB has been my favorite method to use for several years. Mint is also a great option for tracking your money.
2 – Make it easy and automate your money. Have a reserve fund for life things that just come up! Acorns is an option I have heard great things about to invest your spare change or set up an auto-pay from your paycheck that immediately goes to a Reserve Savings Account that you only touch for emergencies.
3 – Have a retirement plan of some sort, any sort. If your company has a retirement plan, consider yourself super duper lucky and enroll and max out their matches for free money! If you are self-employed, set up an IRA or another investment fund. Betterment and Wealthfront are some options. I have used Betterment for a long time, but find one that works well for your needs.
Here are some tips regarding money that have improved our family’s financial relationship.
A – Be transparent. Tell your partner about the fancy expensive shoes you want, or whatever it is you like to spend $ on and figure out a way to make it happen together. One thought is to establish a threshold (like $50, $100, or more) to discuss together those more significant purchases.
B – Have a financial check-in. Each week (usually for 5 minutes or less), we talk about our money goals, what is going on with our cash flow, and anything we need to reevaluate, be transparent with or add to the save list. Find a time and rhythm for whatever works best for your relationship and put it on the calendar like a work meeting. When you are living on your own, a money check-in meeting with yourself is a great idea to do as well.
C – Individual fun money. While we were in college, we started with just $5 each per month to spend or save on whatever we wanted (the amount has varied over the years), but it is one of the best money things hands down we have done for our money relationship ever. If there is something we want individually, we save, and save, and use cash. Do this when you are single too, it is important to pay yourself, even if it only starts with a few dollars.
I would love to hear your method for having money systems. Share in the comments!