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Tips for Making a Family Financial Plan

In today’s world, purchases involve plastic more than paper. It’s more challenging for kids to understand the concept of money. Having discussions about money can help your kids understand the importance of financial planning. As each year comes to a close, consider making a family plan for how you will manage your money for the year ahead. Here are some tips from our family.

Tips for Making a Family Financial Plan

Discuss how to earn money

First, we discuss ways that we can earn money. Our kids are aware of how my husband and I make money through our jobs. We ask them to think about ways that they can earn. When they were younger, we discussed how completing tasks “earned” them money to buy little things like a lollypop or a small toy.  For next year, my son has decided he’ll help shovel snow this winter to earn some extra cash. My daughter is taking a babysitting course so she can earn too.

Create a spending plan

Next, we discuss how our money contributes to the things we need first and the things we want second. We create two lists to review what these things are for the new year. My son wants a new computer and my daughter wants a trampoline. We review our needs like paying for food, housing and clothing. Try this with your kids. Look at the list and discuss what they would need to save to earn the things they want.

Teaching Your Kids About Money and Giving Back

Create a savings plan

Each year, we discuss the things we want to save for. For example, the kids want to go to Disney World next year, we created a financial goal for each of them to contribute. They track their contributions in a spreadsheet on my husband’s computer. For younger kids, you can create savings contribution jars like the ones below. You might pay them in coins for doing jobs like cleaning their room or raking some leaves.

Discuss longer term goals

Toward the end of elementary school, we began discussions about saving for college. Now that they are 12 and 14, we talk about saving for things like buying a car, home and even retirement planning.

We’ve told our kids how using a 529 plan is part of our overall college savings plan. A great option is the MEFA U.Fund College Investing Plan. It’s the Massachusetts 529 college savings plan manage by Fidelity. The MEFA website provides great information about saving for college.

Tips for Making a Family Financial Plan

Create a giving plan

My family also creates a giving plan each year. We like to give to our local animal shelter each month and adopt a family for the holidays. We start saving at the beginning of each year so that we have plenty to contribute later in the year. Ask your kids about how they might like to help other people in need. Little kids sometimes have the best ideas.

What tips do you have for a family financial plan?

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Tips for Making a Family Financial Plan

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Friday 24th of November 2017

Since 2015 my husband and I have raised money monthly for an emergency account where it has already helped us a lot. It's worth doing. In addition, we always discuss a possible purchase if it is important or not. I think the conversation is fundamental to the family financial plan.

Jessica Terry

Friday 17th of November 2017

These are great tips to making an awesome family financial plan. Totally love this post.


Friday 17th of November 2017

These are great tips. It is really important that we focus on a financial plan, especially with the Holidays coming up.


Friday 17th of November 2017

Great tips, we are working on a new budget for the new year and I am going to make sure I include a spending plan.

Toni | Boulder Locavore

Friday 17th of November 2017

These are really awesome tips! I could definitely use these tips!

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