Beyond the budget

There’s more to family finances than just balancing the books.

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.

Use our budget planner calculator to set up your family budget and our AMP Bett3r account to help you set and allocate money towards your goals, before it can be spent on other things.

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.

But taking the time now to review your super, ensuring that it’s on track compared to others your age and invested appropriately for your stage in life, should pay off in the long run.

If you need to top-up, you could consider salary sacrificing or spouse contributions depending on your family’s financial situation.

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.

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Any advice in this page is general in nature and is provided by AMP Life Limited ABN 84 079 300 379 (AMP Life). The advice does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of this advice having regard to those matters. AMP Bett3r Account is issued by AMP Bank Limited ABN 15 081 596 009, AFSL 234517. Consider the terms and conditions available on request by calling 13 30 30 or at amp.com.au/bett3r and whether this product is appropriate for you. Fees and charges apply.

Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any decision. Except where liability cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability for any resulting loss or damage.