6 Money Moves That Couples Should Make in 2020

Couple relaxing at home
Photo by LightField Studios / Shutterstock.com

Couples do so much together — make a home, have a family. It’s time that they get their finances in sync as well.

Taking time to discuss and evaluate finances can go a long way toward eliminating fights about money and keeping financial goals on track.

Following are several smart financial moves for couples to make this Valentine’s Day — or any other day of the year:

1. Have a financial date night

Establish a recurring time to sit down together to review your progress toward existing financial goals, or to set new goals and plan out how you will reach them.

Eric Roberge — a certified financial planner and founder of Beyond Your Hammock, a Boston-based financial services firm — has a financial date night with his wife each month.

He explains:

“My wife and I have monthly money meetings where we come together and do a review of our budget, spending, goals (and progress to them), and during that meeting we also give each other the space to share whatever might be on our mind about our money or upcoming decisions. We can then iterate on our plan and make adjustments as we go.”

2. Consider joint accounts

Consider opening joint financial accounts with your loved one, or at least adding each other to your existing individual accounts.

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson warns against one-size-fits-all approaches in “Ask Stacy: Should My Wife and I Have Separate Checking Accounts?

Many spouses do opt for joint accounts, though. Stacy explains:

“Keeping everything together has advantages. First, when everything’s combined, it’s faster to get a quick, complete overview of your money. It’s also harder to keep money secrets, which can be a source of friction for some couples. Finally, if something should happen and one of you becomes incapacitated, the other has access to all the family funds.”

Separate accounts also have advantages, however.

Whether joint or separate accounts is better depends on your situation. So, you and your significant other should have a conversation about which option better suits your relationship and finances.

3. Label and use images with financial accounts

Getting creative with your financial accounts can help motivate you to stay on track with financial goals.

Rick Vazza, a certified financial planner at Driven Wealth Management in San Diego, recommends that couples open accounts that are specific to their goals and name the accounts based on those goals. He says:

“(For) example, (a) couple has a travel account, a down-payment account and a college account for their child. Most institutions will allow you to nickname the account so you can label it appropriately. If possible, it is even more advantageous if you can upload an image to associate with the account. Research shows labeling and imagery to be powerful motivators toward reaching savings goals,” Vazza says.

4. Automate accounts

Set up recurring automated transfers from your checking account to your savings and investment accounts based on your goals.

Try to schedule these transfers for shortly after you receive your paycheck so that you are less likely to even notice that the money left your checking account. Vazza says:

“Having a system in place that automatically funds the goals that are significant to both of you will provide you peace of mind that you’re on track to achieve your priorities. You can then use the money left over on the things you really love doing as a couple without having to constantly ask yourselves, ‘Can we afford this?'”

5. Increase your emergency reserve

An important financial goal for couples is increasing that all-important emergency fund.

It should be large enough to cover living expenses — for both of you and any dependents — for anywhere from a few months to a year, depending on your situation.

For ideas to help you boost your reserve, check out “9 Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From Scratch.”

6. Take advantage of spousal IRAs

One of the financial perks that Uncle Sam extends to married couples is the opportunity to stash cash in what’s known as a “spousal individual retirement account,” or “spousal IRA.”

The beauty of a spousal IRA is that even if you or your spouse does not work, you still might be able to contribute to an IRA — a tax-advantaged account — for the nonworking spouse every year.

As we explain in “5 Ways Marriage Can Make You Wealthier“:

“There are hitches, such as that the IRS restricts spousal IRAs to couples who file joint tax returns. But a couple who qualifies for a spousal IRA can collectively save as much as double the individual contribution limit in their IRAs.”

What’s your best advice for couples who are seeking to strengthen their finances? Share it by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It
15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It

Discover some must-have products on Amazon that you didn’t even know you were missing.

7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home
7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home

Tired of possessions weighing you down? Here are seven ways to declutter painlessly and effectively.

What Brand Makes the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?
What Brand Makes the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?

The best battery depends on what you need it for and how big your budget is. Here’s how to find the cheapest brand that will do the job you need.

How to Save Up to 70% on 7 Everyday Purchases
How to Save Up to 70% on 7 Everyday Purchases

Stop getting sucked into paying a premium when good alternatives are available at huge savings.

These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

The CDC has unveiled a schedule that likely will determine who gets the next doses.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid
The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid

As a new year dawns, deals abound for some types of products. In other cases, it pays to wait.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.