You and your partner share everything – interests, a sense of humor, that last slice of pizza. So, why not share saving, too? Whether you’re living together, engaged, or have been married for years, saving money for a common goal encourages financial responsibility and open discussions of money. We found three (free!) tools to take the topic of saving from lovers’ quarrel to bonding exercise.
Instead of tracking how much you spend, Piggymojo tracks how much you save by resisting impulse purchases. You and your partner pick a goal that you’re saving for—such as an emergency fund, a pet, or a vacation—and then set a weekly savings target for each of you. When one of you decides to skip a purchase you would normally make (like your morning latte), you text or tweet the dollar value and item to Piggymojo, which sends a message to your partner as motivation.
Pros: We like that it turns saving into a friendly competition. Plus, since it doesn’t actually link to your accounts, it’s a good option for couples with separate finances.
Cons: While Piggymojo will track how much you’ve “saved” each week, it’s up to you to remember to move that amount from your checking to your savings account.
Pretty much a virtual piggy bank, SmartyPig is an FDIC-insured savings account where you deposit money to reach a specific savings goal. Recurring monthly transfers can be set up and money can be added from additional funding sources (like a partner’s account) anytime. There’s also an option for friends and family to contribute to your account (perhaps in lieu of an anniversary gift), but they’ll have to pay a service fee to do so. Once you reach your goal, get the money out in one of three ways: Put the money on a MasterCard debit card, have it transferred back to your bank, or get a 2% to 12% cash boost by placing it on a retail card for Macy’s, Travelocity, Overstock.com, or these other participating retailers.
Pros: The interest rate is competitive (currently 2.15%). And, if your goal is something that can be purchased with a retail card, then the cash boost is free money.
Cons: The minimum savings requirement for is $250, so it’s not for smaller, short-term goals.
The online bank has the convenient option of adding sub-accounts to your primary savings, allowing you to store money away for specific goals. This is great for couples that already have a joint savings account at ING and would rather keep all their money in one place. Once you’re logged in to your existing account, follow these simple steps to set up as many sub-accounts as you need for all of your savings goals. You can fund each of them from your existing savings or from a linked checking account.
Pros: If you’re an existing ING customer, it allows you to keep all your savings in one place, and there’s no need to verify your linked checking account again.
Cons: You and your partner will need to have a joint savings account in order to save for the same goals, so it’s not for more casually committed couples.
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