It is important to have a good understanding of your family finances and to manage them effectively as a parent <link to_Parenting>. Planning and organising your finances will free you up to focus on other aspects of your family life as well.
Financial goal setting
It’s a practical idea to set some financial goals for your family. Make a list of them first. Do you want to save enough to put a deposit on a home or to plan a family holiday? Identify what it is you want to achieve and then prioritise them accordingly. Some goals will be more important than others and should be treated appropriately.
Auditing your spending
If you don’t do it already, you need to set aside some time to go over your income and spending habits for the past few months. Find out if there is an App you can use that could do it for you or you could do it manually on a piece of paper, of course.
It can be quite disconcerting to see what your spendings are but this is also helpful in making you decide whether or not you need to change your spending habits.
Use a budget planner
Once you’ve audited your spending habits, you need to set up a budget planner. You need to record all the money that is coming in, whether that is on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. This may include your salary, interest earned from bank accounts or tax refunds. Next, you need to record all your expenses. You can usually do this by collating all your receipts and recording the totals that way.
You can use the advice on our Budget Planner here to help you set one up to keep you on top of managing your finances.
Find a good financial planner
It is worth spending time with a good financial planner to help you with managing your finances. They can help you with setting and achieving your financial goals and provide you with practical tips for managing your money as well. Make sure you shop around before choosing one. Don’t be afraid to ask them about who their other clients are and what services they offer. Ask exactly how they are being paid and ask for a fee breakdown in writing. That way you will know how much they are making and whether it is by commission on products or service fees.
Many South African banks have financial advisors and they will only be too happy to assist.