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How to save money as a couple

From home improvements to holidays, opening a joint savings account can help you save money and reach your goals together.

You may find it different from saving on your own. On one hand, you’ll have someone to help you stay accountable, and your savings will hopefully grow faster. On the other hand, you’ll need to have trust and potentially some ground rules established.

Here are some tips to get started.

Set a goal together

Setting a goal can help you save money faster, as you have something to aim for. Whether you need a certain amount for a home deposit – or you want to top up an emergency fund – decide what you want to save for together.

Plan how you'll save

It’s worth sitting down together and deciding how you’ll save.

Will you both add the same amount to your joint saver each month? Or will you add a percentage of your income if one of you earns more money?

Think about when you want to reach your savings goal, too. Is there a specific deadline you need the money saved for? Our savings goal calculator could help you see how long it’ll take you to reach your target, which could help you work towards a more specific timeline.

Think about when you'll save too. It can be helpful to pay straight into your savings account when you get paid to avoid accidentally spending the money.

Also, are there circumstances where you'll dip into your savings? If so, set yourself rules around this so you can avoid any arguments down the line.

Explore: How to talk about money

Save in the right place

Opening a joint savings account gives you a place to keep your money. You may also be able to earn interest on your savings. If you plan on saving the same amount each month, you can set up a standing order from your joint current account or from your individual bank accounts.

As savings accounts aren't reported to credit reference agencies, opening a joint savings account won’t appear on your credit history.

An Individual Savings Account (ISA) can only be held in one person’s name, so you can’t open a joint ISA. 

Explore: Savings explained

Make the most of tax allowances

If you’re married or in a civil partnership, you may be eligible for marriage allowance, where the lower earner can transfer 10% of their Personal Allowance to their partner. It increases their partner’s Personal Allowance – reducing their income tax by up to £252 each tax year.

To be eligible, one of you will need to earn less than the Personal Allowance limit, and the other will need to be paying the basic 20% rate limit. Different rates apply in Scotland.

Remember – the value of tax benefits depends on your circumstances and tax rules, and rates may change in the future.

Keep track of your savings

Regularly reviewing your progress against your goal will help you stay on track. You’ll be able to see how much more you need to reach your target and spot any issues.

If you think it'll help, set yourselves milestones along the way where you can celebrate the progress made. For example, ‘When we reach £1,000, we’ll order a takeaway from our favourite restaurant'.

If things aren’t going to plan, review your finances. You might find you’re overspending at the supermarket, or there’s a bill you didn’t include in your initial budget. It can help you understand why you’re not saving as much as you’d like and highlight any areas where you could make further changes.

Explore: Understanding your spending