Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! Save your Money!

On Valentine’s Day, we tend to spend money on our significant others. Like many holidays, it is conspicuous for its spending. We buy flowers, jewelry, chocolates, and meals all in the hopes that he or she will be our Valentine. They say you have to “Spend money to make money.” I wish there were an easy rhyme that goes along with spending money for your Valentine’s date! How about “Spend money to get a Honey?”  

A dozen roses can cost from $40 to over one hundred depending on where you get them. Today, many restaurants are advertising special deals for Valentine's Day. Several are advertising $150 complete four course meals for two. Maybe I'm cheap, but for $150 they should change the oil in my car, too!

Couples do a lot of things together; they dance, they dine, and they drink just to name a few. But one of the most significant things they can do for themselves is save money. There was an old saying that “Two can live as cheaply as one.” For obvious reasons we know that is not true, but two can live together cheaper than two living apart. What do I mean? The sharing of Expenses.

When we get married or decide to share our home with someone, we can realize some significant savings in our expenses. By combining our budgets, we can find ourselves with a lot of extra cash. We share rent with someone. We also share our utility bills such as cable and electricity. Buying our ingredients and cooking most of our meals at home rather than eating out can almost make it seem as if two can eat as cheaply as one. The challenge is to take the savings amount of each of these categories and invest it in a savings or money market account. Couples need to have commitment, discipline and focus to do this.

Spare change is always good. We might have a savings plan and budget our spending, but there is always spare change in our pockets. Save that change and turn it in annually for a nice savings surprise. I average $250 annually in accumulated coins from my pocket. I have been told that is low!

These are adhoc methods of saving. The best way is to have a plan and a goal for your dollars. A simple goal of $50 in savings deposited each month at a savings interest rate of 3.5% can turn into $3,282 in five years! (Rates are low now, but with inflation, they will be going up in the future.)

Do we need two cars? Selling one car can save you a payment, insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs on it. Get a monthly fast pass for the local metro and bank the rest!

But there are also a lot of compelling reasons to save:

Young couples typically get invited to other couples’ weddings and showers with gift obligations. Savings can offset some of the expense of this compulsory gift giving.

Appliances break! Hair dryers, curling irons, razors, microwaves, toasters, blenders, mixers, etc can break and need replacement. How many women can go without a hair dryer or curling iron for even a day? How many men can go without a coffee maker or microwave? These are expensive to replace and can be trouble for your monthly budget. Save money for their replacement. 

Cars breakdown. Tires go flat, hoses leak, batteries go dead, and belts break. A broken transmission can cost you over $1,500! Just owning a car is a good reason to save. 

Is there someone the couple loves who lives far away? A grandparent, parent, or other favorite relative? Suppose that relative became gravely ill? Would they want to see them? Emergency travel is another good reason we save! Considering the expense of traveling, this may only be possible thru savings. (or the dread use of credit).

*   *   *

Our next financial workshop is for teens: Reality Based Budgets - The Post College Simulation
February 20th at 6:30 PM at our Main Office 
Meriwest Credit Union
5615 Chesbro Ave
San Jose CA 95123

Please contact to RSVP for the workshop.

Federally insured by NCUA. We do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
Copyright 2013 Meriwest Credit Union. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment