When I started blogging, my first site was a personal blog that morphed into a college student finance site where I shared my ups and downs on building my finances. Later after I was married, I realized that my site didn’t really capture where I was at that point. Instead of making financial decisions for just myself, I was now part of couple, creating a life together.
It adds another layer. When it’s just me, I could come up with a plan and execute it, but now we had to find a solution that worked for both of us.
Talking It Out
For us, talking with each other about our goals for the next year, 5 years, and beyond was a huge help. We were able to create a general destination for the two of us without feeling as if we were being forced into some plan that the other made. I was finishing up my degree at the time and was working part-time with my internship, so staying on budget was vital for us. One of our goals was to save a bit of money as an emergency fund.
Start Small – One Month Emergency Fund
If you’re looking for a goal that can have immediate benefits and help you two build a financial cushion, having a starter emergency fund is something I’d recommend. I’ve also seen how building and maintaining an emergency fund has encouraged people to continue building their finances. For us personally, it gave us some peace of mind and breathing room for our budget.
Keep Each Other in the Loop
When the two of you achieve that first goal, it’s a win and it’s really motivating. Building your family’s finances is more than just saving. From there we moved on to other goals, such as:
- paying off all high interest debt
- increasing our emergency fund
- buying a house
- preparing a baby fund
- investing for retirement
How do you keep each other in the loop? Communication (again). Having a system where both of you know where your money is going is essential. For our family, having the blog has actually helped us to work together. Every month I do a net worth review that gives us an opportunity to sit down and check all of our accounts together. We address any issues and we celebrate every milestone.
Everyone has different tools; AboutOne is one option that can work well. Focus on what works best for you and your family. Reward each other for the victories and work together to solve the problems.
Thoughts on Saving Together
I’d love to hear how your family works on your finances as a team. What system have you worked out? What was your first goal together?