Two major marital stressors are finances and spouses not spending enough meaningful time together. We keep getting advice to date our mates or take little getaways to reconnect and celebrate the relationship – but that costs money. And our money is already spoken for. But if we don’t find a way to finance a little marital bliss now and then, it’s easy to drift into complacency and not nurture our primary relationship. When I say ‘finance,’ I do not mean ‘go into debt’ – that only adds more marital stress. With a little planning and financial creativity, Marital Bliss (MB) is within reach. Commit to one (or more!) of these 5 painless ways to save money and start planning your MB adventure.
1. Each spouse put a dollar a day in savings jar. Every day. Most days you won’t have trouble finding a dollar. Some days you might have to feel around the cushions of the couch – which could result in bonus money! After four weeks you have 56 uncommitted dollars – that’s a movie theater evening with an ice cream afterward. Six months nets you $364.00 – or, should I say, two fun overnights at a Bed and Breakfast a couple of hours away. You’re already ahead of me on the math – one year of painless saving adds up to $728.00 – enough for a 4-day/3-night getaway with a couple of souvenirs to boot.
2. Don’t spend your change. Ever. No matter what you buy, use only bills. It costs $12.01? You give $13.00 and put that 99 cents in your fun bank. Whether it comes from the dryer, a purse, or a pocket, every day you both deposit all change into the fund. You will be pleasantly surprised how quickly it adds up – and how quickly you will be able to have a fun outing together without taking money from the budget.
3. Have an automatic deduction taken from your pay. You’ve heard this before? It’s worth repeating. You don’t miss what you don’t see. If you have a $20.00 weekly deduction deposited into an account that you have set up as an MB fund, in six months you, your mate and $520.00 are on the way to that out-of-town concert you thought you couldn’t afford.
4. Designate a bill denomination that cannot be spent. Think carefully on this – at first blush you might think a one dollar bill would be the most painless to designate off limits. But do you get more one- dollar bills than five-dollar bills a week? Whether a one, a five, or a ten – whatever you both agree to – each day you remove the unspendable (a new word just for this occasion) bill out of your wallet to avoid “accidently” spending it prior to cash-in time and deposit into the MB fund. Set the date for counting-the-cash and planning-the-bash!
5. Trade in a treat. Do you buy two grocery store magazines a week? Trade that for one magazine and one deposit to the fun bank. Have a daily soda from the vending machine? Trade for a Tuesday/Thursday soda and a Monday/Wednesday/Friday pop deposit. Daily fast food lunches? Brown bag it two or three days a week and bank the profit. Did I hear you mumble this is not your idea of ‘painless?’ Okay, there’s a little sacrifice here, but don’t be a weenie – what’s a little discomfort now for Marital Bliss later?
Making sure that we have time to connect to our spouse, to have fun with our mate, is important to the longevity of our relationship and just plain enjoyable. There are plenty of options to date your mate for free. But sometimes, we need something more expanded to rejuvenate and refresh our connection. It’s often difficult to find funds to do so in already stretched-out budgets, but saving creatively can be fun and painless. And so worth the resulting Marital Bliss.
Do you have a suggestion for a painless way to save for some Marital Bliss? Please share it in the comment section below.