You’re already a planning superstar when it comes to taking care of your family. From keeping your home in order to getting your kids to soccer practice on time every week, you’ve mastered the art of having a plan.
With a few simple steps, you can use your planning prowess to tackle your family’s finances and set your happy little tribe up for financial success.
Read on to learn how to plan out your family’s finances.
#1 Track Your Expenses
We know this task might be an unpleasant wake-up call (you spent how much on takeout last month?), but trust us: ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your finances.
Tracking your expenses is the only way to get an accurate picture of your financial habits. Once you know where your money is really going, you’ll be much better equipped to budget accordingly and set realistic goals.
#2 Let the Experts Help You
Having a family means wearing many, many hats. Although it’s incredibly important to be financially savvy and educate yourself about money as much as possible, you don’t have to go it alone. There’s a whole industry full of professionals who are there to help you every step of the way.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help from:
- An accountant
- A broker dealer
- A financial advisor
- Friends and family (ok, these might not be professionals, but they sure have opinions)
#3 It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Knowing how to handle your individual finances and knowing how to plan for your family are two completely different ball games. Planning for your family means thinking very long-term and expecting the unexpected.
Maybe all of your kids need braces. Maybe your child’s passion for sports requires purchasing a lot of expensive equipment. Maybe you decide to expand your family and need to move to a bigger home. Whatever it is, you need to have a long-term saving strategy to be ready for the long-haul.
Some of the most common ways to save are:
- High-yield savings accounts
- Traditional or Roth IRAs
#4 Make Sure Everyone Does Their Part
You can count on your family just as much as they can count on you. This means you shouldn’t hesitate to get the whole family involved in your financial planning. Not only will this serve as an important lesson to your kids about the value of a dollar, but it will also work as quality bonding time for everyone.
Check out these effective ways to get the whole family on board:
- Allowance – Giving your kids an allowance will actually save you money because, once their allowance money is gone, it’s gone. This tip is especially useful if you find yourself giving in to your child’s every whim at the store.
- Contests and Challenges – We aren’t above some good old-fashioned bribery. Challenge your family to a ‘no spend’ day every week, or make it a goal to cook every meal. Just be sure to include some fun rewards like a weekend getaway.
- Honesty is Everything – Having open, honest, and frank conversations with your family about money will help destigmatize the subject, and it will also help build a foundation of trust and responsibility.
You’re on Your Way to Becoming a Financial-Planning Pro
Not only will your family reap the benefits of your hard work and dedication, but you’ll also be able to rest assured knowing that you’ve taken care of your loved ones. Taking the time to make a financial plan for your family is smart and selfless, so be sure to take a moment to congratulate yourself. We can’t wait to see you put your plan into action!