Having a child? Prepare your finances NOW

When the time comes for a Baby I wish we were more prepared financially. I mean we did a lot but wow it wasn’t enough!

I hope I can add a bit of foresight here to those that are planning now, and assistance to those that can make changes. Here’s some of the ways you can you use to get the best out of your finances.

By knocking down those energy costs

The first place you can start saving a lot of money is on your household bills. In particular, most families are using a lot more electricity and gas than they really need to. As we’ve gear up towards winter, a lot of your money will likely be going towards making your home warmer. But if your home isn’t properly insulated, this could cost a lot more than it should. Insulating the home is important, but it’s not the only step. By insulating your water pipes, you can save a lot on water heating costs, as well. You should take the time to inspect the exterior of the home, too. Gaps that could be easily caulked can be a source of a lot of heat escaping the home.

By planning the family meals

We’re not going to start suggesting that you and your family don’t eat as much. Rather, we’re suggesting that you eat better. Some people assume that whole foods are a lot more expensive than processed foods. However, if you plan your meals and buy ingredients that can be split over several meals, the exact opposite is true. You end up buying less and finishing more of your food. It also has the obvious benefit of being significantly better for the health of the family, as well. Stop relying so much on processed food and start planning meals based on ingredient choice.

If in business separate finances

If you’re not already using a separate account for your business finances, you need to start doing it now. We know that your financial health is likely tied into the success of your business, to a degree. But that doesn’t mean it has to be entirely dependent on it. If your business and personal finances are in the same account, it’s a lot easier to find yourself dipping into money you shouldn’t. Similarly, separating your accounts makes it much easier to run your business, too. Putting together all the records you need for taxes and audits can be exhausting enough. You don’t want to have to do it while also proving which of your expenses are business related and which aren’t.

By being a savvy car owner

Besides the home, the car (or cars) are likely to be the most expensive assets for the family. But they don’t have to be overly so. For instance, you should always consider buying used, to begin with. Even if a car is less than a year old, getting it used from a dealer like Thames Motor Group is a lot cheaper than getting it brand new. By being a lot more proactive on your maintenance, you’re being a lot smarter with it, money-wise. First, in preventative maintenance, you end up spending a lot less money in having to take it to the garage. There’s also the matter of retained value. Cars always depreciate, but if you don’t take care of it, you’ll find its value tanking a lot quicker.

By being a smooth negotiator

If your business is succeeding, then you should already have some experience in being able to negotiate great deals. Yet there are too many who aren’t willing to use their gift of the gab for their own finances. A lot of people shy away from confrontation, but if you take it to your home service providers, you can save a lot of money. Whether it’s on internet costs or breakdown recovery services, be willing to negotiate. You’ll find that a lot of service providers are willing to bend with just one threat. That threat is that you’ll go to their competitors, instead.

By being future oriented

Your family’s financial health isn’t just about the here and now. It’s about what happens tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and years down the line. You can’t be living on money that comes in while leaving nothing left. You have to devise a proper budget. Account for all your mandatory bills and essential costs like groceries, then the non-essential. Think of which ones you might be able to get rid of or cut down. Then it’s about looking at spending money. Start dividing spending money into luxuries and savings. You need to always keep some money aside. Whether it’s going to getting you debt-free, your retirement, life insurance or whatever. Some of your money should always be going towards securing the future of your family.

 

By using credit smartly

A big part of protecting your future is by making sure you have resources to draw from when you really need them. One of those resources is your credit. Don’t make the mistake of using your credit card as a family fun fund that you pay off as you go. It should be used primarily for investment potential, not lifestyle funding. Otherwise, you’re not balancing your books by bringing extra value and income from the deal. You’re just spending money you don’t have yet. Similarly, your credit score should be kept as positive as possible. That way, you can rely on things like your overdraft or credit card if you hit an emergency and need short-term funding quickly.

By having fun with the family responsibly

When you’re running a successful business, it can be tempting to start living more lavishly than you’re used to. We also want to provide our kids with all the best things, especially if we didn’t have them growing up. However, it’s not about the amount of money you spend on them. It’s about taking the time to have new experiences with them. Instead of going all out on holidays, scan for the best deals you can get on them. With sites like Travel Supermarket, it’s easy to have an adventure with the kids without spending too much. Staycations can also be a lot more rewarding and cheaper than having expensive flights. Remember that treating them is about the time you spend on them, not the money.

By teaching your children

It’s not enough, as a fiscally smart dad, to just know what to do yourself. You should also be teaching your children how to deal with finance. As soon as they start learning the concept of money, they should be learning about responsibility. If they get a bank account, you should be talking to them about interest and overdrafts. Make sure they understand the implications of credit. When they get their first job, talk about taxes with them. Before they leave the home, they need to understand about budgeting and planning for the future through things like a pension. Give them lessons as they grow up. That way, you stop them from making those stupid mistakes that young people can impact their financial future with.

You need to save, plan, and be a savvier consumer overall. Being smarter with your finances doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself or your family. It’s all about getting more for less. Hopefully, we’ve given you a few actionable ideas to start working on with the tips above.