Build a financial plan together
Set short- and long-term financial goals
Bigger goals couples plan for can include buying a house, having a wedding, or starting a family. More long-term goals can include saving for a child’s education, retirement saving, or investing.
Acting as a team and getting things accomplished can strengthen your relationship. It can also emphasize your shared values and goals. There’s an opportunity cost associated with pursuing one goal over another—so setting goals with your partner is a way of affirming your commitment.
Pay off debt as a couple
A flexible spending account or a health savings account (if you have a high-deductible health plan) let’s you pay for medical bills using pre-tax money.1
If you have a workplace savings plan and your employer offers a match, try to save enough to get the full match—it’s like “free money.”2
To make sure you can keep prioritizing debt payments over time, set aside some cash to cover emergencies. Consider tackling debts in a methodical order—whether that’s focusing on higher balances or higher interest rates.
High-interest credit card balances
Alternatively, you could use the snowball or avalanche method to put extra payments toward one balance at a time (while paying the minimum or more on other cards). With the snowball method you would start putting extra payments toward the lowest balance card to pay it off quicker. Once it’s paid off, you can redirect the payments that were going to that card to the next lowest balance, along with any extra payments you can afford.
With the avalanche method, you would start aggressively paying off the card with the highest interest rate. After you pay it off, you can put those payments toward the loan with the next highest interest rate. This method can save you money over time by focusing on the most expensive loans first.