Three Ways You Can Secure Your Family Finances

When money accumulates, risk and uncertainty come into play. Fortunately, as a family leader, you can take proactive steps to protect your financial future. The sooner you implement them, the better.

Looking At Long Term

Money is a sensitive subject. Objectivity is difficult to maintain when emotions are involved in decision-making. Choices are skewed by what is exciting, opportunistic, or enjoyable now. Sadly, these short-term decisions often have unfavorable long-term consequences.

To manage money well, you must learn to control your emotions and think long-term. For example, rather than focusing on what’s best now, consider what’s best for your family in five, ten, or fifteen years.

Living in the moment is fun, but having a secure financial future will help you sleep better. Not that you can’t enjoy the resources you have now, but you have to be wise about balancing immediate gratification with future financial security.

You should also make sure you have contact details for a car crash lawyer, various insurance companies, and more. 

Organize

After a bit of daydreaming and visioning, it’s time to get to work. Getting organized is the first step. Here are some suggestions:

  • Make a list of all your accounts. These should include checking, savings, credit cards, brokerage, and retirement accounts. Keep track of all balances in a spreadsheet and passwords in a secure password wallet.
  • Rank your debts by interest rate.
  • Make a paper and digital filing system. Use these for all financial documents and records. Then begin filing all new documents neatly.
  • Analyze your bank and credit card bills. Review all income and expenses. Create a monthly budget itemised for maximum savings.

Getting organised will probably bring you a lot of relief. Even if your finances aren’t in great shape, gathering information and organising it will give you peace of mind.

Repay Bad Debt

Bad debt has the power to cripple your future finances. Bad debt clogs your budget and drains your cash flow, whether it’s credit cards, car loans, medical bills, or student loans. Paying off bad debt should be your top priority.

Many people begin to defend their debt. They make the minimum payments and just sort of push the “ball” down the road until next month. But if you want to succeed, you have to attack debt.

The offensive means using every spare penny — aside from essentials like housing, food, medical care and transportation — to pay down debt. There are two main ways to pay off debt:

  • The Debt Avalanche. Using this method, you pay the minimum on all your debts. Then you pay off your highest-interest bills with the money you have left. Then, you move down the list until all debts are paid off. Theoretically, this approach saves you money by attacking the most expensive debt first.
  • The Debt Snowball Method. Using this method, you make a list of all your debts, lowest to largest and pay down the ones with the smallest balance first, regardless of interest rate. The goal is to build momentum by getting rid of as many line items as possible until you get to your largest debt. At that point, you put all of your energy and effort into knocking that one out.

Some people choose to implement a hybrid method that combines elements of both. However, don’t get so caught up in the details that you miss the bigger picture. Regardless of the method, your objective is to eliminate bad debt as soon as possible so you can start investing in your family’s financial future.

Adding It All Up

Of course, there’s no perfect formula for building and sustaining wealth. If it were a matter of filling in an equation and aligning the right puzzle pieces in the proper places, everyone would be wealthy and financially secure. But, alas, it’s not that simple. Every individual’s situation is unique, and any number of circumstances change from one family to the next.

While there’s no way to secure your financial future with 100 percent certainty, implementing the strategies outlined above will put you head and shoulders above your peers. And keep in mind that the more urgency you bring to the task, the better your chances are of orchestrating a bright future for your family.