F is for Family Finances: How to Keep the Entire Family on Track

F is for Family Finances: How to Keep the Entire Family on Track

Managing most things can be difficult. And when you don’t fully understand the importance of a situation, the solutions can become unclear. Still, the more you educate and become aware of the circumstances, the better you can tackle each problem. And managing an entire family’s finances is definitely no different. Every family is uniquely different, and each has distinct financial moves that may ensure everyone gets what they need to reach financial freedom. 

This is not to say that you should be in charge of paying your elderly mother’s bills or making sure your teenage son doesn’t spend all his money on French fries and pizza. But rather that you are in charge of making decisions that affect the entire family or many members of it. Then, using financial education and foresight, you can better solve each financial decision.

But how do we keep everyone on track?

The key to keeping the entire family’s finances on track is communication and organization. But, unfortunately, finances are notoriously difficult to talk about. And just because it is family, it doesn’t magically make it easier. In fact, it could even end up being more difficult as there may be much more history and emotions to consider. 

Communication with family members about finances is the first and most crucial step in keeping everyone on track. Avoiding the topic of money does more than keep everyone comfortable. It can lead to financial mishaps that could have lasting impacts. Be realistic and talk to your spouse, kids, parents, and siblings about important financial decisions. This can be the difference between financial freedom or disaster.

And, although it feels difficult to talk to your parents about their end-of-life care and the money decisions, it is vital to do so before it is too late. Long-term healthcare and retirement decisions can be uncomfortable to talk about, but it is better to know their wishes sooner rather than later. And while your kids may roll their eyes as you speak to them about budgets and college funds, everyone involved will be better off in the long run. 

How to get organized.

Once you have spoken with your family about whatever financial topics need to be discussed, getting organized will feel like a walk in the park. Well, maybe. But now that the hard part is behind you. It will be easier to sit down and create a plan or budget. It will also be easier to continuously keep yourself and others on track. 

Don’t be afraid to delegate other planning and organizational tasks with your family. Teaching teens how to save for their future will help them out more than it will help you. It will also be one less thing you need to manage (allowance, etc.). Get your sister who takes dad to all his appointments and runs his errands to create his budgets. Get your spouse who is dead set on having a vacation home to spearhead that savings plan. Getting organized doesn’t have to be a solo activity!

If you have a large or a small family, one thing is for sure: you should be keeping your finances on track! 

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