The unfortunate fact is that finances kind of run our whole lives (and can ruin them, too.) You have to have money and good credit to do anything. Like, anything.

Figuring out how to balance the insane stress of budgeting without letting it completely kill your vibe isn't just a good idea, it's imperative.  And it becomes even more important when you get married and meld your budgeting and spending habits with someone else.

I always hesitate to give "marriage advice," since Caleb and I have only been married a year and a half, but we've been making decisions together, financially and otherwise, for five years. And doing a pretty good job of it for the most part.

We aren't raking it in (who is, at our age?), but we both work hard, full-time jobs, and make a decent living. We just bought a house, and a car, and budgeting our money so that we make payments on time is a big deal.

financial advice for young couples

Here are a few things we've picked up along the way that have helped us save more, pay all the bills, and go on fun trips every once in a while.

1. Scrimp on the electric bill.  Sweatshirts and blankets are there for a reason! Just kidding... kinda. We keep the house just a little chilly (around 65-67) during the winter, instead of cranking it up to max toastiness. Bonus, it increases cuddling excuses!
We have two extra rooms in the house that are currently used mostly for storage/ Caleb's instruments. We keep those doors closed unless we're using the room, and keep towels on the crack below the door to save on cooling/heating costs. If you aren't using a room, these's no reason to keep it the same temperature as the rest of the house!
We also make sure to turn off the coffeepot once it's done brewing - the coffee will stay warm for a while without it being on. And we turn off lights when we leave the room! 

2. Bring your lunch to work. We try to keep out eating out costs to a minimum, so that when we go, we don't have to scrimp! We usually save restaurant meals for the weekend.  We both try to bring our lunch to work rather than buying one, because I would much rather spend that money on going to a cool place on a date or with our friends than on a frazzled trip through the Taco Bell drive through. 

3. Coupons and loyalty plans.  I'm not so great at finding coupons for groceries, but I'm awesome at finding coupon codes for online stores, and pizza, strangely. We have a Kroger card which saves us an average of 30 or so bucks per big grocery shopping trip, and gives us fuel points that takes down our gas costs. Find a store that you like that's close, and join their loyalty program! Also, if you're a big online shopper like I am, don't buy anything you can't find a coupon code for.

4. No brainer - pay the bills on time. Most bills have a grace period with a small fee where you can be late without it being too much of a big deal. I try to pay the bills early if possible, and stay a month ahead on things like car payments where you have that option. It goes a long way for your peace of mind, and those late fees add up.

5. On that note - don't spend money on non-essentials before the bills are paid.  I like clothes. I buy clothes fairly frequently (working on it). But I don't buy them until I've tithed, the bills for that month are paid, and I've put some in savings.

6. Put money is savings as soon as you are paid.  Part with the money you have to part with as soon as it's in your account - if you have the option, set up your paycheck to have a certain percentage go into savings as soon as you're paid. Takes the sting out of moving it over! 

7. If you're going on a vacation, book early! You'll get a much better deal if you book early than if you wait until the last minute, and you'll give yourself more time to shop around for good deals. If you travel often, sign up for a site like - you get free nights when you book a certain number, and they run deals fairly often! 

My biggest advice is to remember that at the end of the day, your marriage is much more important than money. There will be rough patches. Everyone manages money differently, and there will probably be things that your husband does that don't make sense to you financially, and vice versa. Compromise is essential. With time and a willingness to compromise, you'll come to a budgeting plan that works for both of you. 

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