First Command Financial Advisor Katy Stevick shares some tips on how to take control of your family finances. Katy and her family live in Fayetteville, North Carolina. You can connect with Katy on Facebook.
In my last post, I shared some of my family’s secrets for saving money without sacrificing too much fun. If you were able to free up some additional cash, congratulations! But now that you’ve figured out how much you can save, it’s time to make a plan to help your family make saving a long-term endeavor. Here are some tips that have helped my family save money month after month:
Create an Emergency Fund
Want to reduce your financial stress dramatically? Set up an emergency fund and contribute to it regularly. Even if you’re only adding the 10 or 20 dollars per paycheck, you’ll be able to watch it add up quickly. That way, the next time you have an unexpected home repair or issue with your car, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you can cover it without dipping into your monthly budget or putting it on a credit card.
Make Saving Automatic
The best way for saving to become a long-term habit is to make it as easy as possible. So once you decide where you’re going to stash the extra money each month, put it on automatic transfer. Then, you’ll be able to save a set amount of money each month, even if you forget about it. You’ll be surprised how quickly your savings accumulate when you “pay yourself first.”
Foster a Healthy “Money Mindset”
Building a culture of saving in your family can be surprisingly easy and deeply satisfying – as long as you’re willing to stick with it. But to do so, you have to have the whole family on board. So find some time for teaching opportunities to help your family develop a mindset that:
- Eschews the idea of “deserving” nice things and embraces the idea of earning and saving for the things you want
- Values spending time together more than spending money together
- Understands that saying no to a small, meaningless purchase today lets you say yes to a larger, more meaningful purchase later