Do you ever look at people in their early twenties, or even their teens, and think how jealous you are that payday for them means dividing their spends into how much money they’re taking out with them to bars and clubs each weekend? That careless and wild freedom seems a lifetime ago now. We all have to grow up at some point. Parenthood is an eye opener like no other. Family finances require thought. All of a sudden there are considerations beyond your own simple wants and needs – because there’s someone much more important to think of! I’ve been thinking about how to prepare for the future, how to build the foundations for fun times, and that all comes down to finances. So. Let’s look at a couple of ways to make sure that the plan goes ahead as smoothly as possible.
Get in the Driving Seat with Debt
We all detest monthly payments. There’s nothing worse than seeing your bank balance on payday, only to see it decimated over the course of the next 24 hours as bill after bill tears away at what would have otherwise been fun to spend. That’s why if you’ve got mounting monthly payments that are leaving you with very little spare cash with which to plan for so much as a takeaway let alone your child’s future, it may be worth your while looking up some free advice. Creditfix is a website that can help, for example. Don’t be shy. Everybody needs a little help every now and then. Taking a good look at your finances today can potentially save you from despair further down the line. And once that’s all sorted, and you know how much you have got spare to play with each month, we can move on…
The Family Savings Pot
One of the best pieces of advice I can give you towards building a stronger foundation for your finances is to compartmentalise your efforts. What do I mean? Well, if you’re truly honest with yourself, and if you’re anything like 99% of us, ‘saving up’ means using your current account and will power. Trying not to spend what’s in your current account is a fool’s errand. Things come up. New windscreen wipers for the car, a new kettle, weddings, and events, it all adds up. Before you know it, your current account is back to looking like it always does at the end of the month, which is to say completely bereft of savings. That’s why if you want to see results, you simply must compartmentalise your finances. Create a family savings pot and don’t touch it. Pay into it each month. Use it for holidays or days out. Keeping your family happy is more important than almost anything else.
The “Children” Savings Pot
Moving on from the idea of a family savings pot, a separate savings account set aside purely for the purpose of having the money to give your child everything they need in life is an idea I wish I’d had earlier. They grow up fast. Before you know it, they’ll need a car and maybe even some money towards higher education. Start saving now and spare yourself the blushes of not being able to help out.