Family Financial Planning: What You Should Know
When it comes to planning for your family financially, there are several topics to cover. Money may be a touchy subject for your family, but it’s necessary to know where you stand financially so you’ll know how to organize your life and plan for future endeavors. Here are a few things you should know.
Start the Conversation
The first step to family financial planning is to start the discussion. You and your spouse need to talk about how you want the finances to be handled in the household. Will you both contribute to the mortgage, or will one of you handle this bill while the other takes care of the other household bills? Do you both have a retirement plan or will one of you use your paycheck for savings while the other uses his/her paycheck for household responsibilities? You also need to determine how much money will be set aside to care for children, and it may be time to figure out how much money is needed to care for your aging parents. Make sure that you know where all your money is going, so you’ll know how to resolve things should an unexpected financial emergency come up.
Start Planning Ahead
One of the best ways to make sure that your financial future is secure is to start planning ahead. Even if your children are very young, it’s never too early to start putting money aside for a college fund. If you’ve just purchased a new car, start saving for repairs and maintenance costs. If you know that you want to move to a new home in the next few years, start planning well ahead of time. This way, when you’re ready to make certain financial moves, you’ll be able to do so without stress, and you won’t have to move too many things around financially to accomplish your goals.
Be Prepared for the Present
Even though you’re preparing for the future, it’s also imperative to make sure you have enough money for the present. Organize your budget for things like groceries, gasoline for your car and supplies that you need for work and school. This will let you know exactly how much money you have to spend on future investments.
Have an Emergency Plan
Life can be pretty unpredictable, so you’ll need to have a plan together when it comes to financial emergencies. It may be a good idea to set up a health savings account so you can take care of medical emergencies without using money from your retirement account. It’s also a good idea to have savings set aside that will come in handy if your car breaks down or you need to handle an unexpected bill.
Make Time for Extras
Part of your financial planning should also include putting money aside for the extra things you need and want in life. Make sure you have an account for vacations, and organize money for future investments or businesses you want to become a part of. Making sure you have money for things like shopping for a new wardrobe can even help you keep your family financially healthy both now and in the future.