Family finance is one of the most important areas of family life that need to be addressed. Many divorces are the result of the inability to properly manage money and family financial needs. It is on the top of the list for spousal arguments, and disagreements. Family finance can also be a source of bringing spouses together when they do decide to use teamwork for successful money management.
With growing inflation, rising prices and tough economic times all around, it is important for family members to recognize several important principles that can work in their favor. The list is general, but can apply to all.
1. Work together as a family - teach by example
With or without children in the family, partners need to work together to avoid sabotage of the common goals for family finances. Especially when there are children, spouses need to remember that they are the primary models for behavior that their children will emulate in their lives. When parents argue and disagree, it makes managing money look like a difficult, unpleasant task to be avoided. However, if parents can show by example that they know how to stretch their budget and make wise decisions that benefit all, children will show an interest in learning the same skills.
2. Use your budget
Your monthly and weekly budget plans are your map to financial success. Include all possible expenses that may occur, and all debts you have. Work several weeks ahead on a spreadsheet formula to allow for flexibility and emergencies. The budget is a friend and indispensable tool for money management. There are many systems for budgeting. Find one that you like and stick with it.
3. Eliminate debt - "the borrower is a servant to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7)
This Bible quote is very true. When you take on debt and use credit accounts, you are promising your future income to someone else. Your work can no longer benefit your family, but goes elsewhere. Make a concerted effort to not borrow, and to pay off debt as quickly as possible. Stay on a cash basis and use targeted savings accounts for future planning.
4. Save for a rainy day
All the old familiar sayings are correct. Save for that rainy day because it always happens. Control expenses and save now for debt free future enjoyment. In addition to saving up for emergencies, save up for fun. Save for your next vacation instead of using credit or loans. Save for that next vehicle and pay cash. You can use all the extra you would have paid out in high interest for your own pleasures. Saving not only saves you money, it can provide you with wonderful peace of mind.
5. Put your family first
Stop trying to "keep up with the Jones family" and focus on your own family. Investing your hard work and money into toys, games, designer clothing, or other frivolous expenditures leads you away from your real treasure which is your own family members. No matter how small or large your family is, put your family first. You never know how long you have to enjoy life and family, so do not waste a second of precious time dwelling on things you do not have and do not need. Be happy with what you have, save for some of those extras, but while life is going on enjoy your growing family. If you do not take time now, your children will grow up and be gone before you see them.
6. Enjoy family life
If you have your family finance issues in order, and under control, you can relax and enjoy your family life. You will have both time and money to take care of your family in the manner in which you desire. Your personal happiness and satisfaction will cover them like an umbrella of security. Your family will benefit greatly.
These principles all tie in together and by following them faithfully, the family as a unit can prosper and grow. What children learn when young will guide them through life, and they can become shining examples of how maintaining watchfulness over the family storehouse can benefit everyone in that family unit.
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