Are you trying to take control of your family’s personal finances? One of the first steps is to make sure that everyone is aware of the goals and lifestyle changes the family will need to make to achieve those goals.
How can you talk to your family about things like budgets, credit repair, and personal finance without making them feel like they’ll be missing out on fun activities and indulgences? Try some of the best practices in this blog post.
As parents we try to shield our kids from our financial situation. While this may seem like a good idea, you want to be honest with your kids and include them in the discussion. You don't have to get too technical or too deep but just having them be a part of your financial talk can help garner their willing participation.
Now that you’ll be paying closer attention to your budget, you can use this experience as a chance to teach your children about how to manage their own finances - and why doing so is important.
Setting a time for a regular budget meeting can make the process educational and fun, and it can bring your family closer. Schedule a non-negotiable date when everyone in your family is available, both physically and mentally.
During the meeting, everyone should shut off their phones and other devices. Make the meeting fun by preparing special snacks like chips and homemade dip or freshly-baked cookies. Be prepared for someone in your family to complain about the budget and prepare some diplomatic responses in advance.
Remind your family members that your new budget will be a great bonding opportunity for the family. Instead of spending money on eating restaurant meals, watching movies in the theater, or visiting the amusement park, you’ll be spending some quality time at home, replicating your favorite restaurant meals, bonding over Netflix, or playing in the park.
With that being said, you can splurge on your favorite outings from time to time. The commitment to the budget may help your family members appreciate these splurges even more than before. Getting creative with your downtime may even inspire one of your family members to try a new hobby!
One day, when you’ve achieved financial independence and can loosen the reins on the budget, you and your family members will look back at this time as a valuable learning experience and cherished time filled with camaraderie.
When it comes to putting together your family budget, it is important that everyone has input. Even the littlest in the house. So go around the table and have each person share what their goal would be. Your youngest child may want to add toys to the budget, your teenager may want to add in budgeting for clothes and your spouse may want a nice vacation. It is important to consider everyone’s wishes and from there come up with some common goals. Of course not everything is feasible but you can find creative ways to get everyone’s needs met.
You want the meetings to be fun and something to look forward to and not dreaded. Be sure to try and create an environment where your kids feel like they are being included as one of the grown-ups. Your seven-year-old can call the meeting to order, your middle/high schooler could be in charge of taking notes or could do the math. This meeting is for your kids as much as it is for the adults.
Lives today are very busy but you don't want to schedule your family budget meetings at a time when everyone is rushing around. Choose a time when everyone feels more calm like at night after dinner. Maybe whip up everyone's favorite dessert or if you can't get everyone around the table at once, the car works too.
You set the meeting and had the discussion, now how to best end it. In an effort to keep the momentum going, you want to come up with a measurable goal that will help your kids check in on their success. Everyone should leave the meeting feeling like they have some responsibility where they can add value. For young kids, they can help a the grocery store with comparing prices.
Also be sure to set another time for your next finance meeting. Once a month for a half hour is all it takes.
Dealing with personal finances is something people shy away from. The tips above will help you begin the discussion of finances with your loved ones. If you plan on beginning the credit repair process with a family you may have questions and concerns. If you’re not sure how to get started, visit our Resources page where you’ll find plenty of information to get you on the right path.