1. Talk about money. This may seem like it is obvious, but most people find the very subject of money as something taboo to talk about. When you are at a bar with your friends that is fine, but when shacking up you should know how much money is in the pot. Now, we have established it is uncomfortable but let’s get down to the nitty gritty. If both partners are upfront with each other about their fixed monthly expenses then it is easy to make a solid plan for saving (buying a home, vehicle, dream vacation) and still make some wiggle room for some fun and inexpensive splurges.
2. A back-up plan. Do you or your partner have a side hustle? Consider getting one. Life is extremely unpredictable and one or both of you may end up unemployed. How can you draw in income without a paycheck? Talk it out with your S.O. you may find an exciting new hobby together or perhaps the tools needed to start a business of your own.
3. Plan your meals. I know, I know, this is apparently the most difficult thing in the world for people not yet in their thirties (and even people in their thirties). But the tiniest bit of planning can cut your grocery spending dramatically. What are some of your favorite meals? What are meals that you know how to throw together quickly? Keep the pantry/freezer supplies for these meals on hand. If you have the space (which I do not) buy these items in bulk.
4. Stay in! If you and your significant other love to shut the bar down every weekend but are late on every utility bill every month you may need to re-evaluate your priorities. It is awesome to go out and have a great time with friends or just with each other but that shit is costly. Pregame, at home. Pregame, at the rendezvous spot with friends. Take cash only with you to the bar in the amount that you are allowed to spend and leave the credit/debit cards AT HOME. Now if the thought of being alone with your partner in your home makes you want to shudder, then perhaps you should re-evaluate the relationship.