Guidelines for Establishing a Habit of Saving in Marriage

Is it important for a young couple to have a savings account? As a rule of thumb, how much money should we be saving out of our monthly earnings?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Yes, saving is absolutely essential. You may have friends who aren’t saving any money at all, or who are spending more than they earn, but they’re on very shaky ground. In today’s financial climate, two spouses who suddenly lose their income could quickly run through their monetary resources.

The Bible advises us to save money, even if it’s a little at a time. “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow” (Proverbs 13:11). It’s wise to set aside a portion of your income in case of a rainy day or with an eye to achieving future goals. So don’t let the fear of never having “enough” money saved discourage you from saving at all. Start small – even $25.00 a month is significant. The main thing is to start building that cushion.

How much money should you plan to save? That depends in part on how you earn it.

If your income is consistent, it’s a good idea to save at least three to four months’ worth of expenses as an emergency fund. For example, if it takes $1,500.00 to keep your home running for a month, you should save $4,500.00 to $6,000.00.

If your income fluctuates – perhaps because you work on commission or are self-employed – you should save at least six months’ worth of expenses as an emergency fund. Set this aside before you save toward a car, a down payment on a house, college tuition, or retirement. Don’t dip into this fund to cover monthly budget overruns. This cushion is for crises like unemployment or major medical expenses.

The amount you save also depends on your needs. These can be broken down into three categories: short-term, intermediate, and long-term.

Short-term needs are those you anticipate in the next one to two years (this is in addition to the three-to-six-month reserve mentioned earlier). These resources are best kept in accounts that are easy to access without penalty – for example, cash or money market accounts.

Intermediate needs are those you expect to encounter in two to five years – replacing a car or finishing a basement, for instance. You might use certificates of deposit or short-term investments with little volatility to meet this savings goal.

Long-term needs might include a child’s college fund or saving for retirement. For this fund you’ll want investments that stay ahead of the inflation rate – typically equity-type investments or stock market investments with a diversified portfolio.

Here’s another good idea: a “save to spend” strategy. If your car is paid off, make a car payment to yourself in a separate account each month. Drive your car until you’ve saved enough to buy a replacement. Once you’ve paid cash for this car, begin making payments to a car fund account again. You’ll be earning interest on the money for the car rather than paying it to someone else. This idea can be applied to housing costs too. For example, if you’re renting an apartment for $700.00 a month, you can budget $1,000.00 a month and set aside $300.00 a month toward the purchase of a home. This helps to establish the habit of spending less than you earn – an uncommon practice in our society, but one that that puts you in a good position to face unexpected events.

For additional help and information on this topic, we’d encourage you to consult the resources and referrals highlighted below. Or if you have relationship concerns and challenges associated with this situation, please don’t hesitate to give our Counseling department a call.


If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

Complete Guide to Faith-Based Family Finances

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

Your Money Map: A Proven 7-Step Guide to True Financial Freedom


Crown Financial Ministries

Dave Ramsey

Debt-Proof Living

Money and Finances

Managing Money

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.

If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.