6 Powerful Personal Finance Insights for Families
Financial planning tends to fall to the sidelines when families focus on the hustle bustle of finding a love-work-life-family balance. However, finances are probably the singular most influential factor that determines if the house runs smoothly or otherwise. This article provides insights on six personal finance tips that could make it easier for families to smoothen out potential kinks in their finances.
1. Set financial priorities
Money matters are one of the biggest reasons for conflicts in the family because partners often assume that they have the same goals. However, if you don't articulate financial goals there might be conflict when your partner doesn't seem make financial decisions in line with assumed goals. For instance, if you think it is time to own a home, you might start saving for a down payment and you might think your partner his being wasteful if he announced that he just bought family vacation to Hawaii. Hence, you'll make a conscious effort to discuss and set financial priorities. You need to set financial goals such as buying a home, planning for retirement, and saving towards the kid's college education.
2. Discuss financial values
You'll also need to discuss your values because people have different values and attitudes towards money. The need to discuss financial values is of utmost importance if you and your spouse or significant other grew up in different cultures, social classes, or different family sizes. Part of values include teaching kids about money and determining how much pocket money kids should have. You'll also need to decide on the amount of your individual/joint income goes towards saving and the percentage that goes to individual discretionary expenses.
3. Drop your financial baggage
If you've had hurtful experiences with finances in your past marriages or relationships, you might be messing up the finances of your current marriage because of your emotional baggage. It is easy to assume (consciously or subconsciously) that your spouse will mishandle your finances because an ex made poor financial decisions. For instance, you might catch double checking the accounts or squirreling money away. However, exhibiting distrustful and controlling attitudes towards your spouse of money matters could trigger financial chaos in the family.
4. Budget together
You'll should make financial plans together and solid financial plans start from the budget. A budget helps you to make financial plans by allocating your income towards meeting expenses and other financial targets. Budgeting together helps you to work out differences in your financial values – Budgeting together also eliminates potential causes of distrust because you'll both know where your money is going per time.
5. Agree on who does the paperwork
You may want to reach an agreement on who does the paperwork in your finances – filing taxes and paying bills among other things. Deciding who does the paperwork provides order in your finances and it eliminates redundancy. More so, the bills won't be piling up unnecessary because both partners have assumed that the other person has taken care of the bills. Nonetheless, both of you should practice doing the paperwork in order to avoid chaos when the partner who usually does the filing is not around.
6. Doing paperwork is not the same as making financial decisions
Irrespective of who handles the financial paperwork in your family, you'll both need to sit down to make the major financial decisions. However, if your spouse handles the financial paperwork, you might erroneously assume that they are automatically in charge of the financial decisions. However, making financial decisions goes beyond filing paperwork and paying a couple of bills. Even if your spouse prefers to make financial decisions alone, you should check in with them regularly to be sure that you still have the same financial priorities, values, and goals.
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