The words "newlywed' and "personal finance and budgeting" don't usually go together, but they should. And these finance apps and budgeting tips can make it fun.
You're newly married and as happy as can be. Your apartment together is cozy even if it is in the attic on the third floor. You have a little debt from your wedding and honeymoon, but nothing too dramatic. You both like your jobs and want to have kids in a few years—as soon as you pay down some of these bills like car loans, student loans, and that credit card from college.
Date nights and dinner conversations are all about planning your future together. And even though it isn't as exciting as talking about your next road trip, personal finance and budgeting chats are coming up more and more as you try to figure out how to create the path to the life you want.
What do you need to do to pay off those credit cards, to save up for a down payment on your first home, and start a savings account for the children you plan to have soon?
Here are 10 apps and tips to help you carve your financial future into the masterpiece you want it to be.
Personal finance and budgeting apps
Let's start with some apps, because nothing says "newlywed" like sharing the password on budgeting apps.
Mint may be one of the most well-known budgeting apps, and there's a good reason for that. Mint connects directly to your bank account, so you can pay bills, look at your balances, and schedule alerts all with one login.
2. You Need a Budget
You Need a Budget, or YNAB, is a great tool for seeing exactly where your money goes, and that's half of the battle, right? Track every penny you spend, give every dollar a job, and before you know it, you'll be prepared for any emergency. They also have a bevy of short online classes to help you budget the way you want to.
Mvelopes is the digital version of putting your cash into envelopes dedicated to certain expenses. Instead of stuffing a $50 into the "utilities" envelope and $30 into the "transportation" envelope, you do it right in an app connected to your bank account. Pretty nifty.
It can be hard to save money, even for things you really want (like the down payment on that cute home over on Maple Street). Digit transfers money into a savings account automatically so you don't miss it—or spend it on that magazine subscription you don't want.
Invest in your future with an investment app. Stash lets you start investing with as little as $5 and offers plenty of financial education opportunities, too.
Personal finance and budgeting tipsWouldn't it be nice if you never had to worry about money? We can't guarantee that will be the case, but these tips will help.
1. Invest in life insurance
Yes, we are an insurance company, so naturally, we're biased, but with good reason. Did you know that some life insurance policies will let you borrow against their value for purchases like homes? Plus, the younger you are when you get life insurance, the less expensive your premiums are.
2. Invest in a retirement plan
Whether you have a 401(k) at work or you prefer an IRA, start putting money aside for retirement—even if it's only $20 each month. There are two types of IRAs you can choose from: a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA. According to Nerdwallet.com, the biggest difference comes when you pay taxes. With a traditional IRA, you pay taxes when you take money out of it. With a Roth IRA, you pay the taxes when you put money into it, so choose accordingly.
3. Set goals
What DO you want to achieve financially? Do you want to open your own restaurant? Buy a house in two years? Go on a cruise every year? Just pay off those darn credit cards? Talk to each other and figure out what your goals are, and then make a plan to achieve them. Once you set goals, work them into your budget.
This one comes from Mary Veitch, at Financed Advantage, and it's essentially the nuts and bolts of running your finances. Figure out who is going to pay the bills and track the budget. Maybe it's both of you, or maybe one of you is particularly organized and attuned to this task. In any case, set aside time at least once each month to run through your budget and look at your goals.
5. Have some fun
Starting a new life together isn't without its ups and downs. Make sure your personal finance and budgeting plans include a little something for both of you. Whether it's saving five dollars a week and going out for a movie once a month or budgeting for a yearly camping trip, make sure to include "you" in your budget.
Oh, and about that tip above—investing in life insurance—we just may be able to help. Contact your local Pekin Insurance agent to talk about the right life insurance coverage for you and your spouse.
Do you have other personal finance and budgeting tips to add? Join the conversation in the comments below.