Miss Toucan posted yesterday about a savings “account” they use — a change jar for all their loose change! Mr. Onion and I do this as well. I had a gallon jar filled with change before we moved in together and cashed it in for extra moving expenses - it was about $400!
Our first vacation together led us to Burlington, VT, where we ended up getting married. On that trip we took a tour of the Magic Hat Brewery and we went home with a growler of what they had on tap that weekend. We kept the bottle and now put our change in it as we’re saving up for our first home. They actually wrote “new apartment fund” on it at Magic Hat and we didn’t notice until we got home!
And speaking of saving, last night we spent a better part of the evening dealing with finances — budgets, health coverage, life insurance etc. As I mentioned in a previous post, we are looking for our first apartment to own. We knew what we could afford for a down payment but weren’t sure about what we could afford on a monthly basis. We made an excel sheet with the following categories:
Mr. Onion’s paycheck
Mrs. Onion’s paycheck
Gifts and Donations
It was a fantastic exercise. Not only did it help us see that we need to lower the upper price range of our apartment search to lower our monthly carrying costs, but it gave us a chance to talk about saving goals over the next 5, 10, 20 years. We decided to budget a certain amount each month from both our pay checks to be sure we can contribute the maximum to our Roth IRA each year (I have one already, Mr. Onion will be opening one shortly).
Now that we have everything in one place we can carefully track our spending and live comfortably within our means instead of being surprised by unexpected expenses we can’t afford. If you’d like detailed subcategories from our budget let me know and I’d be happy to share.
What steps did you and your FH/DH take toward your financial goals? Are you thinking about the future? I think the most important thing is being totally honest about your finances — your debt (loans, credit cards etc) and your spending habits so you can make the budget reflect reality. Honesty is one of the most important qualities in a marriage, and while you might have a different approach to finances, sharing everything can help you work together towards those goals.