Author: Sophia Young
To achieve financial wellness is to be in a good financial situation in every aspect of your life. From professional to personal to family, you must consider all of these.
The thing is, even though families with children under 18 are more likely to experience financial stress than those without kids, so many people feel alone in this endeavor. In fact, 77% of Americans still find talking about their finances a taboo subject.
This behavior is especially concerning in families with children. This is because we form our attitudes and thoughts about money in childhood. That’s why, as a parent, you have the power to set your kids up for financial success! All you’ll have to do is talk about money frequently and model good money management behaviors.
If you’re looking for the best place to start, we’ve compiled seven tips below to help you build a financially healthy family.
1. Keep An Eye On Everything
Keep track of where your money goes. Regularly take some time to sit down with your spouse or significant other to review your finances and see where everything goes.
If your children are old enough, this is also a great way to introduce them to money habits that will help them achieve their future financial goals.
2. Explore All Options
If you are a young family, childcare is probably one of your most expensive monthly expenses. Examine all of your alternatives for daycare and the costs connected with it. You can reduce the money you’ll spend here by looking for nanny sharing options, babysitting co-ops, or childcare subsidies. Consider if the expense of childcare exceeds the advantages of having two sources of income.
You can also explore options in terms of expenditures that you can eliminate or lessen. Give low-budget management a shot if you’re shopping for your family’s wants and needs.
3. Keep Your Goals At The Forefront
To illustrate your family’s financial goals, consider building a collage or a bulletin board together. You can even make it a mini project to have everyone involved!
Whatever you produce will serve as a daily reminder of the trip you’re saving for or the house you’d want to buy. With this, you can keep big-picture objectives from being lost in the day-to-day shuffle.
4. Save and Spend As A Family
Show your kids what saving money really looks like in certain situations, like saving up for a new computer or a trip to a theme park.
Get a big jar and add money to it every week so the kids can see their savings increase. Then, once you’ve saved up enough money, go comparison shopping together to teach the kids how to get the most bang for their buck.
5. Make Every Situation a Learning Opportunity
Parents frequently say the words, “We can’t afford that.” It’s tempting to say it, but it might convey a mixed message to your children. They might become worried that their family can’t meet their basic needs. But your kids will usually sense when you’re not being sincere. They know you can afford that $10 trinket they’re pointing at.
A better alternative would be to say, “That’s not how we choose to spend our money right now.” This will help kids think about what they value. You can also go for the classic “We can’t purchase it right now, but we can talk about how you can save for it, or we can get it for your birthday.” This will be the opportune time to teach your children delayed gratification and budgeting, which are all vital aspects of financial wellness.
Remember, every situation that includes finances is an excellent opportunity for early financial education.
6. Take Control Of Your Credit
Don’t think of your credit card as a way to supplement your income. There’s no denying that credit cards offer some flexibility. However, if you don’t have a long-term strategy for paying for particular items you’ve bought, it’s worth pulling the breaks to consider whether you actually need it.
Keep in mind that the less money you spend each month on debt repayment, the more money you have to save.
7. Have An Emergency Fund
We live in a very unpredictable and unstable world. Because of how crazy life can get, we often hear stories of job losses and other bad events virtually every day. That’s why having an emergency fund has become essential.
A fund like this can assist us in paying unexpected bills and getting through a family crisis. The way to go about this is to retain some money in a bank account or liquid funds, which should be sufficient to cover at least 3 to 6 months of living costs. In addition, a fund will be crucial in the event of a job loss. We all know finding a new job will take a lot of time.
Your Family Is Not Alone
It’s just as crucial to take care of your financial health as it is to care for your physical health. But, of course, you’re not alone in this journey.
Don’t hesitate to ask for professional help! You wouldn’t think twice about hiring a personal trainer to help you get in shape or a nutritionist to help you eat better. So don’t be afraid to seek advice from a financial professional on how to improve your financial situation.
Come make better financial decisions with us at 3rd Decade today! Learn more about our program here. You can also check out our financial literacy blog and The 3rd Decade Podcast if you’re looking for additional resources.
About the author:
Sophia Young recently quit a non-writing job to finally be able to tell stories and paint the world through her words. She loves talking about fashion and weddings and travel, but she can also easily kick a** with a thousand-word article about the latest marketing and business trends, and finance-related topics, and can probably even whip up a nice heart-warming article about family life. She can totally go from fashion guru to your friendly neighborhood cat lady with mean budgeting skills and home tips real quick.