Raising children can be tough in many ways: financially, emotionally, and physically.
While there are things you can do to help with each – such as budgeting, meditating, and working out – this article will focus on what you can do to make sure your family’s finances are in-check.
Below I will go through what I like to do to make sure that my family is never in a position where we have to worry about money (too much).
As mentioned above, budgeting is a great way to set your family up for financial success.
Though there are many different kinds out there, they are all pretty similar. In short, you just have to write down your income, write down your expenses, and see what’s left, if anything.
If you have more expenses than income, you need to figure out where you can cut down. If you have money left over, you need to figure out where to put that money.
I like to use the budgeting app, Mint. This app automatically tracks my spending and puts them in categories. I then can set how much I want to spend in each category, and Mint will tell me how I’m doing.
Though I prefer Mint, there are many other budgeting apps you can take advantage of, most of which are completely free!
2) Consolidate & Refinance Debt
Another tip, that many people aren’t away of, is to refinance and consolidate debt. It is possible with almost any kind – but I will focus on student loan debt and credit card debt.
For student loans, you can refinance and consolidate your debt with your spouse, or alone, to simplify payments and possibly to get a lower interest rate – saving you money.
For credit card debt, you can either get a balance transfer card with an introductory APR of 0% so you can work on paying down some of the debt.
Alternatively, you can take out a personal loan to pay off your credit card debt. Depending on your credit, your interest rate will typically be below 10%, saving you tons in interest costs on your credit cards which probably have an interest rate between 15% and 30%.
3) Start Saving for Your Children’s Education Early
My last tip for you today is to start saving for your child’s/children’s education as early as possible.
While it may be hard to think about when they won’t be in college for 20 years, if at all, it is much better to start saving now than later.
Due to the awesome power of compound interest, the money you invest today will be more valuable than the money you invest next month and next year.
My preferred method of saving for college is through a 529 Plan. These are tax advantageous and have many other great benefits to help you efficiently save for your child’s education.
Many families are constantly worried about their finances – often causing many issues. In some cases, it can even lead to divorce. It doesn’t have to be this bad, though, if you take the steps early on to put your family in a good financial position.
Sit down, create a plan, and do your best to stick to it and you will start to see some improvements. Hey, maybe your newfound financial success will awesome help out with the other stresses of parenting I talked about at the beginning of this article.