Category Archives: friendly finances

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Tips On Making Saving Easier As a Family

While the need of having something stashed away is emphasized and almost becoming apparent, many Americans still record a savings of less than $1000. This is, unfortunately, true to many other countries. The need of saving cannot be emphasized enough. Everyone earning an income needs to learn the art of saving.

In the beginning, saving can be a tough call. Good news is that it is a habit that can be acquired. Practicing the art of saving is crucial. Doing it as a family will not only be fun but bring more on board. The bond is also bound to grow stronger. Here are tips on how to get everyone involved.

Sell The Vision And Discuss

You cannot drag anyone along. The participants need to be willing to take the journey. A good point to start would be to call everyone and bring them on board. In a family set up the boardroom approach may fail. Rolling out the campaign should be interesting and the challenge put forth as exciting to woo everyone to join.

Let everyone contribute their thoughts. Discuss after everyone airs their views. Each family member should feel like their voice is heard and point taken.

Write Goals Both Short And Long Term

Goals play a significant role in our life’s journey. Apart from giving direction, they help igniting the zeal to do more as we reach the short term goals. Long term goals may look far-fetched at the beginning, but with the first step, it becomes easier. Whenever you get close to the goal, faith is build up, and the possibility to achieve becomes real.

Agree and discuss on the primary goal. Have shorter goals that lead towards the main one. Let every member know the actions that lead to the goals. Have meetings to review the progress as per the availability of all the members if possible.

Establish a Formula

While family members share a DNA, the thought processes may be the world apart. Getting to agree on how to save is essential, yet a potential deal breaker. Some may have a financial background and advice from a professional viewpoint while others may have been through some rough patch and are driven by fear. The important thing is to listen to all parties involved.

Getting everyone to agree on one formula or platform may prove an uphill task given the attachment most people have with money. Such a session will require a lot of patience. You may be forced to discuss in details options from where to get a term life insurance quote online, to which bank products to consider. Bring every suggested product on the table for a fair decision.

Celebrate Achievements And Evaluate Progress

Results call for celebration, no matter how small. Small wins release the stamina to get to the next level.  It can be through just meeting and sharing a meal in one house or going for a picnic together. Whatever it is, remember the campaign is to save. Do not indulge in expensive engagements as it will beat the logic of the challenge.

Acknowledge the efforts of individuals and outstanding performers. It is common that in such undertakings some people will be more outspoken and proactive while others laid back. Different personalities may be at play and in some cases, skepticism.

Take time to evaluate if the saving plan, platform or formula is working. If something is not functioning as projected, look and try to adapt a different approach. Discuss if it is time to change the approach, plan or formula. Again, members need to agree on which way forward here, whether to try again or quit the formula altogether.

How To Avoid Financial Related Conflicts In a Family

Experts confirm that one of the leading causes of marital strains is money. Managing finances at a personal level pose a substantial challenge to most people. Bringing someone else into the equation can either make the situation better or worse. Many marriages end as a result of unresolved financial fueled disagreements.

Money matters have led to significant changes in the marriage institution, including the introduction of pre-nuptials and money agreement documents before a union. Law recognizes these agreements. This goes to show the crucial part that money plays in families.

Here is how you can avoid getting into the murky financial wars.

Talk About Money

Money talk should be one of the crucial topics that a couple needs to discuss while dating extensively. Interesting that pre couples spend many hours chit chatting about other things but finances, which plays a significant role in running a family.

If you are reading this and are married already, all is not lost. Develop a culture of discussing finances. Get to understand your partners’ struggles, highlights, blunders, and strengths as far as money matters are concerned. Lay bare each other’s financial status.

Let your partner know if there are loans you are servicing, your credit status, or other financial obligations not directly related to your union. Do life together. If one of you is in business, self employed health insurance quote comparison done together will help pick the most favorable.  Transparency and honesty help forge strong pillars in marriage and reduce conflict.

Write Goals and Design a Budget

Goals are important in marriage just as they are in life. Discuss and come up with your goals, both short-term, and long-term. Accommodate each other as long as they add value to the union. Goals help give direction and assess progress seamlessly.

With the family needs as a priority, it is crucial to draw a detailed budget. All expenses should be restricted to the budget. Consult with each other before committing on a need that was left out.


Keep some amount aside for retirement, emergency or investment. When you save money together, it encourages both parties to participate in the plans. Conflicts tend to be minimal when you know you are in it for the long haul. In case there is a disagreement, the approach is different as there is more at stake if separation occurs.

Emergencies come when least expected. Depending on which part of the family feels more weight, one party can feel drained. A joint emergency kitty is important in a union.


When a family masters oneness in financial matters, all other areas are a breeze. Money is particularly sensitive. This may be the hardest one to achieve, but very possible. Appreciate the different backgrounds that you and your partner come from and different priorities or viewpoint of money. Most often, one person will be stronger or more disciplined in the area than others. Learn from one another.

It takes a lot for someone who is financially disciplined to watch another person mismanage funds. Walk with your partner in steadiness with the aim of making your spouse a better financial manager. If you happen to be the one who lacks financial discipline, be open to learn and change.

Good news is that anyone can gain financial discipline and become a money master. It may take a while, but you will get there. Depending on what works for you, it is crucial to note down some rules that you will refer to often. Structures will keep both of you on track. If you plan to have kids, pass down some of the crucial lessons you have learned about money.

Financial Security For The Disabled

We all make our best efforts in life to be financially secure. We work hard, making the effort to increase our pay whenever we can. Then we manage our income carefully to be sure we’re getting everything we need without making poor decisions on the things we want. Our savings and investment instruments are also meticulously handled.

But at the heart of the entire process is our ability to work. If we lose a job, we can search for another. But if we lose our physical ability to work, our options are drastically reduced. When that loss is permanent and we’ll never be able to work again, it is a frightening situation, particularly if we have children, a mortgage, and other significant financial needs beyond simply keeping ourselves clothed and fed.

It’s in this situation where preparedness is more important than ever. When we’re working, we still have at least some opportunity to rebuild ourselves financially if our savings don’t appear to be sufficient. But if we become disabled, that opportunity is gone, often with no warning and the compounded problem of huge medical bills.

Just as our working years are the time to save money, they are also the time to learn about your financial options in case of disability. Understanding them when you’re 29 and in perfect health will position you for security when you’re 49 and something happens to you.

Government Back-up

The best news is that the worries you have about providing for your family have been shared by the federal government for many years. In addition to safety nets for people who are out of work, there are provisions for people who are unable to work. The most common one is Social Security, which we often think of as an old-age program. The truth is that many people who have lost their ability to work at a young age are on Social Security, and it can be very helpful in that situation.

The best time to learn about it is while you are still working, but even if you’re already out of work, there is time to catch up. Understanding the requirements for Social Security disability eligibility is essential for you to get enrolled quickly and begin drawing the benefits you need in order to provide for your family.

Early Retirement Withdrawals

Many people have employer-sponsored retirement plans. Like Social Security, they’re often perceived as strictly something for our retirement years. And it is best to leave that money alone until retirement.

But sometimes, it isn’t possible. It does us no good to watch the money build up for our use at age 65 when we are permanently out of work at 42. Government regulations and investment policies recognize that, so there are provisions for many of these instruments, even tax-deferred ones, to be used in cases of disability or certain other financial emergencies. Talk with your benefits officer or plan sponsor to learn about what the policy is for that situation so that you have some peace of mind before something happens.

Employer Disability Programs

In addition to retirement systems, many employers offer a variety of other fringe benefits that may include disability insurance.

It’s a choice that may fly under the radar at open enrollment, especially for healthy people who can’t imagine giving up a few more dollars a month for something they may never need. That can be a critical mistake. Like any insurance policy, you aren’t paying for it to get a monetary return. You’re paying for the peace of mind of knowing that an unexpected incident won’t destroy your financial future.

We go through life with a lot of assumptions. One of those is that our health will always be good enough for us to work and provide for ourselves. But just as many other things can take an unexpected turn, our health can be damaged by an injury or illness, to the point that we have no way of earning a paycheck anymore. If we take some time to do and understand a few things, we can put it out of our minds and rest assured of a sound financial future.

Tax Time…that is, if you’re not rich!

I had half forgotten that taxes are due tomorrow, since we filed our taxes months ago, but then I read the local Willamette Weekly cover article on 9 Things The Rich Don’t Want You to Know About Taxes.

It’s really in depth, and pretty darn infuriating. Since I know you all won’t take the time to read the full article, here are the tax myths that he tries to dispel:

  1. Poor Americans do pay taxes
  2. The wealthiest Americans don’t carry the burden
  3. In fact, the wealthy are paying less taxes
  4. Many of the very richest pay no current income taxes at all
  5. And (surprise!), since Reagan, only the wealthy have gained significant income
  6. When it comes to corporations, the story is much the same – less taxes
  7. Some corporate tax breaks destroy jobs
  8. Republicans like taxes too
  9. Other countries do it better

Not surprisingly, it was the last section that really got me going, wondering for the umpteenth time why I live in a country that likens taxes to torture and can’t understand how creating a system of mutual support is a good thingI wrote last tax season about green taxes and taxing priorities, and have made my socialist tendencies known. Call me socialist, but I’d happily pay into a system that provides a safety net and makes many predictable expenses less expensive. Instead families are stuck wondering how to budget for unpaid maternity leave, save for college and retire with a reasonable standard of living.

What gets me is that all these tax myths are being created by those who pay the least proportionally. Obama is proposing a modest tax increases on the wealthy, but it’s still no where near equality. I try to be an optimist in my personal, but politics lately are getting under my skin, and the tax debate reminds me of how much better I think we could do for our families. 

Would you pay more taxes for more services?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.