It's a Family Affair: Why You Need to Keep on Top of Your Finances

When you’re raising a family, and a lot of people depend on you, you’ve got to stay on top of your financial game. This is not the time to slack off and do anything less than your best. At the same time, you don’t need to make yourself crazy with money worries. Follow a few simple tricks and tips, and your family’s financial boat should float just fine.

Before you can improve your financial life, you’ve got to know what sort of assets and debts you have. Your liabilities and assets, when tallied together, determine your net worth. Cars, collectibles, savings accounts and real estate are all assets that count toward your net worth. Debts and liabilities subtract from your assets, but they’re not necessarily bad things. Paid down debt looks favorable on your credit reports, as do regular mortgage payments and credit card debt that is paid down over a reasonable period of time, says Financially Fit Females newsletter. 

Make a list of your financial goals

As time moves on, your financial goals may alter. For this reason, it’s a dandy idea to take a new look at your goals once a year or so. If the goals you made note of one year ago are still relevant, ask yourself if you are you making progress to achieve them. If your list of goals included saving toward the purchase of a home, how much have you socked away toward that dream? Long-term goals may not change as quickly as short-term goals, and that’s alright. Reevaluating your previous financial strategies may help you streamline your money plans. 

Maybe bankruptcy is right for you

If you’ve gotten into major debt and don’t see a way out, bankruptcy is an option you may wish to consider. Rarely anyone’s first choice, bankruptcy can help a person who’s swimming in debt to start over and try again. Consolidating one’s debts is another option to think about. If you think bankruptcy or debt consolidation might help you, you can try here and see what options are available. The important thing is to make forward progress as well and as often as you can. 

What other families do to stay on top of their money game

Paul Golden is a spokesman for the National Endowment for Financial Education. He notes that responsible people should expect the unexpected. An emergency fund that can cover six to nine months of household expenses is a brilliant idea, explained Golden. He also explained that six months of saved salary may be unrealistic to many people. $500 is a more reasonable goal that most persons can attain. The NEFE says that financial stability starts with easy, reachable goals. Aim to reduce debt load by five percent this year. Stop impulse buying and start saving, no matter the amount. 

If you are tempted to buy a pricey item that you don’t really need, walk away from it and focus your attention elsewhere for at least 30 minutes. Better yet, go home and forget the impulse to purchase.

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