Is 2016 the year that you will get your family’s finances back on track? Well, I hope you are not making the mistake of tackling the family finances alone. To bring prosperity to you and your loved ones, it needs to be a family affair.
Start Having Monthly Money Meetings
Money can be a touchy topic to talk about in some families if it is not talked about regularly and honestly. Schedule short monthly meetings with your family to discuss the family’s yearly savings goals, upcoming costs (i.e. vacations, surgeries, college tuition), challenges, and what the implications will be for day-to-day spending and long-term purchases.
Celebrate Your Milestones
When the family reaches a particular milestone – whether it be a paid-off credit card, a first-time job for a teenager, a scholarship, or a down-payment on a home – make everyone feel good about the progress the family is making. Celebrate in low-cost ways: a family dinner, a little champagne and apple cider, or Netflix night.
Create a Family Financial Calendar
Get everyone on the same page. As part of your monthly meeting, use a blank monthly template to populate the various events and activities that each member of the family will be participating in. Also, jot down the cost. This strategy will help you see when there is high spending occurring and for which activities.
Agree Upon Financial Goals With Your Children and Have Them Work Towards Them
Open a savings account with your children and have them make bi-monthly contributions. Insist that they pay in full or in-part bills (i.e. cell phone, nails, entertainment, shopping). This instills a sense of responsibility.
Having them play an active role in their financial lives will also streamline their priorities and understanding between a “want” and a “need” once they will not be getting it free. If you allot an allowance, maintain strict rules that restrict advances, discourage borrowing, and create incentives to save (i.e. providing matching funds).
Family financial freedom can’t happen without a family plan-of-attack.
BMWK- What other strategies can we add to this list?