Finance is an integral part of the family fabric, with statistics showing that it is the leading cause of family fights, at 35%. A 2015 study by the American Psychological Association reported that over 75% of Americans experience financial stress. The same is true in almost all developed countries, and worse in developing ones. Unfortunately, the greatest effect is on family, irrespective of the cause of the financial pressure.
Balancing family and finances is becoming harder each day, especially in a society that is continuously becoming materialistic, and employers that do not value family. Nonetheless, there is still hope for families that dare to strike the elusive balance. Below are five tips on how to achieve this.
Discuss Money Matters
Most young couples discuss everything except money. Intimacy for some time beclouds the focus on pertinent issues such as questioning your partner’s financial blueprint. Others extend this silence until years later into the marriage or until they come under a load of debts and begin trading games.
It is best to start talking about money matters in your family today. The two of you might have different financial alignments; one may be a “saver,” and the other a “spender”. Discuss these strengths and weaknesses in the light of your financial goals.
Several marriages today begin with debt baggage such as education loans. The partners then dig themselves deeper through household debts. In the UK alone, the average household debt is £15,400. Having an open and honest discussion on your debt level is crucial. Create a debt management plan to help you.
Learn the Basics of Financial Management
Not everyone had the blessing of learning the basics on financial economy at home. Some may find simple tasks such as creating a budget and sticking to it limiting and almost unbearable. However, these seemingly insignificant skills are vital to creating an adequate balance in family and finance. Start by lessons on saving, managing chequebooks, and paying bills in time. Extend them to your kids.
Find a Work-Life Balance
Now that you have your financial goals outlined, a chart for debt settlement and a budget to work with, making money is the next item. Even though few employers provide family-friendly workplaces, you can still create time for your family.
A monthly weekend vacation will not work if you are absent for the rest of the days. Sometimes, you may have to accept the bitter fact that putting family first might mean less income, as there are assignments you cannot take and hours you cannot clock at work.
Have a Retirement Plan
Most families that have an elaborate education plan for their kids do not have a private pension plan. You will not be young forever, and your kids might never be there or have the money to watch over you in your senior years. Create a retirement plan and start saving for it. It is not to say that it will be sufficient, though it will be better than not having one.
Money is a sensitive issue in families, which is the reason most people do not talk about it until it is too late. However, seeking the balance early is your only safeguard to healthy family life and financial success.