When most families think about their finances, they think about income earned and bills to be paid. But there’s more to family finances than just balancing the books.
Here are six other things it pays not to overlook to ensure your family’s financial future.
1. Deal with your debts
Whether it’s a mortgage on the family home or a loan for a new car, the first step to managing your debt is to make sure you understand it.
To get on top of your debts, consider which ones are costing you the most in interest, penalties or fees, then address your debts in order of priority.
If you have lots of small debts, it can also help to consolidate them and avoid paying higher interest rates and lots of extra fees. By putting all your debts into one loan, you can get a clearer picture of what you owe and potentially save money too.
2. Set savings goals
Perhaps it’s a holiday or a house renovation. Whatever big-ticket items are your family’s focus, you’re more likely to achieve them if you set a savings goal.
Budgeting is an important step in saving. It allows you to plan where you’d like your money to go, and can help you identify spending you can cut back on which could allow you to reach your goals sooner.
If you’re not sure where your money goes, take a close look at your current incomings and outgoings. If you’re an AMP customer, you can do this by registering or logging in to My AMP and selecting ‘manage non-AMP accounts’ to access our Money Manager tool.
3. Sort your super
It can be hard to think about something as long-term as super when you’re juggling the here and now that is busy family life.
4. Invest in insurance
Getting your family finances sorted could be considered pointless if you don’t bother to safeguard them.
After all, the most important asset for your family’s financial future is your ability to earn an income, and you can protect this by having the right type and level of insurance in place.
Having an emergency fund is also a good idea to deal with life’s unexpected emergencies.
5. What about your will?
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t like to think about what might happen if you died, but having your affairs in order could be crucial to your family’s financial wellbeing.
This is known as estate planning, and making sure you have a valid will and ensuring your super beneficiaries are up to date are two key aspects of good estate planning.
6. Protect your personal details
Finally, if you’ve invested the time and effort to sort your family finances, make sure your financial details remain safe and protected from cyber attack, identity theft and online fraud.
There are steps you can take to protect yourself, including backing up your data regularly, using anti-virus software, and having unique passwords for different financial accounts and websites.
We’re here to help
If you’d like help in organising your family finances, speak to your financial adviser. If you don’t have an adviser, use our find an adviser tool, or call us on 131 267.
Staying on top of family finances
Our short online learning module looks at the importance of budgeting and protecting your family through things like insurance.
Remember, no matter how you pay for purchases, at some point the money comes out of your hip pocket.