Family Planning for Financial Peace of Mind
For many families, financial stability is just a dream. It may seem like the money going out is much steadier than the money coming in, but fortunately, managing finances and creating monetary peace of mind is not rocket science. It might take some planning, but after you get in the swing of things, there will be more room to dream of bigger and more exotic things than finances.
Plan for the Unexpected
For real financial stability, it takes some planning ahead. No one likes to focus on the worst case scenario, but sometimes it’s best to face the fear and plan accordingly. Most financial advisors agree that if your household has dependents living in it, it’s always a wise decision to invest in life insurance. That way, if something devastating were to happen to you, your family would be left without your financial burdens and with a means to pay for your funeral costs. Financial strain is too much for anyone to handle in the wake of an already emotional tragedy, and many people neglect to plan ahead and are hit hard when an unexpected death does occur.
Save Money on Food
With the hustle and bustle of the world, it can be hard to cook and sit down for a meal. Many families result to picking up fast and easy dinner that not only takes a toll on the wallet but also on the health. Don’t fall into the trap of the grab-and-go diet; grocery shopping is cheaper and more efficient when done right. You’ll be amazed at the difference just cutting down on the cost on food alone can create.
• Never go grocery shopping without making a list first. Going unprepared makes it much easier to impulse buy.
• Plan out meals for a whole week. This will save money on gas by making a single trip to the store as well as eliminate the temptation to eat out.
• Make big meals. Leftovers are a great and cost efficient solution for lunch the next day.
• Eat meat free a couple nights a week. Produce is cheap, and meat can get pricey. Substitute lentils or nuts for the protein, and you’ll be able to create some tasty, creative, and cheap dinner ideas.
Many families are taking a more minimalist approach to their lifestyle. Ask yourself what you actually need and what can be dropped. There are many things that families have but never use, and weeding those out could result in some positive changes to the bank account.
• Many Australians are downsizing on their vehicles. If your lifestyle allows you to do so, only keep one car per household. If you’re honest with yourself and realise the second car is pure luxury, try selling it and biking to work. It’s eco-friendly, health-conscious, and much more cost effective than filling up the gas guzzlers.
• Get rid of your gym membership if you only sporadically make it over there. Most gym memberships aren’t cheap, and that money could easily be saved and utilised for something more practical. Besides, there are many free and fun ways to exercise such as going jogging, hiking, or biking.
• Utilise free resources for recreational activity. It’s important to take time to enjoy your free time with your family, but think of some creative ideas that don’t cost anything. It will be something new and allow you to bond with your family by brainstorming ideas together.
Create Another Source of Cash Flow
The common advice for financial success (by those who have actually achieved it) is to diversify your source of income. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and get creative with new ways to generate income. Here are a few ideas, but don’t limit yourselves to these.
• Start a weekend service, such as dog walking, that people need but don’t have much time to do themselves.
• Use your talent and passion (writing, music, or cooking) to offer services in your spare time. Put an ad online advertising your services, and you’d be surprised how many calls could come in.
• Sell stock photos. Submit your photos to stock websites, and you can earn money for every time someone downloads your picture. It might not seem like much at first, but it’s easy money that can add up fast.
There are many ways to deal with financial stress, and achieving a level of monetary comfort isn’t as hard as it may seem. By planning ahead, budgeting properly, and getting creative, your money problems will start to subside leaving your mind free to enjoy life the way it was meant to be.
Arlene Chandler is a freelance writer who focuses on preparing for the unexpected turns life can take. She currently writes for the Australian life insurance provider, Suncorp.