Moms: Develop Wise Financial Strategies for Your Family
- Friday, June 22, 2007
As a mom, you want to take good care of your family, and that includes managing money wisely. But despite your good intentions, you may still find your family among the ranks of many who struggle financially.
You can change that. Here’s how you can develop wise financial strategies for your family:
Know your money management personality. If you’re a "Frugal Family Financier," you try to do everything as cheaply as possible. You probably have only one checking account and one savings account, and you may have no credit cards at all (or just one – and you pay the balance off in full each month). You resist replacing "big ticket" items like cars and appliances until they fall apart.
If you’re a "Capable Currency Manager," you likely spend everything in your checking account(s), but you don’t touch your savings. You work diligently to save for the future and shop around to get the best deal possible on whatever you want to buy.
If you’re an "Ambitious Breakeven Caretaker," you work hard but can’t seem to get ahead. A lack of discipline, skills, or both prevents you from achieving financial security. You can usually manage to pay your bills on time each month, but not save for the future.
If you’re an "Extravagant Home Economist," you live for today – and often live beyond your means. You likely have more credit than you need and use it to excess, ending up in serious debt. You don’t bother to shop around for the best deals on what you want to buy, and you have little or no savings. Once you recognize your money management style (and that of your spouse), you can identify what your specific money problems are and focus on solving them. Be respectful of one another (not judgmental) as you work out your differences.
Set up checking accounts in the way that fits your family best. Consider whether it would work better for you to have just one checking account for your family, two accounts managed separately by you and your husband, or three accounts (one joint account and two separate accounts).
Stay on top of paying bills. Assign the task of paying bills to either yourself or your spouse – whichever one of you is most gifted in this area. However, if you’re not the one who actually pays the bills each month, make sure that you stay informed about the process. Know that they’re being paid on time. Know approximately how much is being spent on monthly expenses and extras. At least every six months (and preferably once a month or quarter), schedule a meeting with your spouse to discuss your finances in detail.
Set financial goals. Write down specific and measurable financial goals for one year, five years, and 10 years from now. Put your goals in order, from most important to least important, for each time period. Have your spouse do the same, and compare notes. Once you’ve identified similar priorities, you can organize your finances to meet those goals. Consider whether or not you might want to hire a carefully selected financial planner to help you achieve your goals.
Choose insurance wisely. When purchasing life, home, auto, and other types of insurance, strike a balance between what you need and what you can afford during this season of life.
Prepare a will. Realize that preparing a will is the only real way to choose your children’s guardian and have your assets distributed as you would like when you die. Don’t put off this important task.
Balance your checkbook. Reconcile your checkbook to your bank statement each month by looking through the last month’s transactions. Use the statement’s ending balance, then add deposits appearing in your checkbook register but not on the statement. Then subtract outstanding checks (those you’ve written but that aren’t on the statement). The total should equal your checkbook’s balance on the same closing date. After you have a reliable balance, keep your checkbook updated by making sure you always record every transaction that affects your checking account and continuing to check your records against every monthly bank statement.
Recently on Finances
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content