Financial Woes During Life Transitions
As summer comes to an end, families transition into new stages in their lives. Some people are celebrating the birth of their first child, retirement, going back to school, relocating or at a new job. Sometimes these transitions come with great financial stress. Specifically, the stress stems from carrying too much debt, not earning enough money, the expense of raising kids, marriage to a spouse that has different ideas about how to manage finances, and the list can go on.
Money Habits and Mindset
Likewise, guilt, anger and anxiety can set in because we don’t know how to find the solutions to maintain a financially healthy, happy home environment. Instead, we choose not to talk about our finances in order to keep the peace. Moreover, growing up we might of learned not to discuss money matters because it was the source of anger, mistrust and divorce. As a result, the choice to not talk about money becomes a solution towards keeping the marriage together.
Saving as a Family
There are, however, ways to establish new money habits. One way to do this is to plan and save as a family. Saving as a family and discussing financial goals can help to keep each member accountable. Saving as a family also gives us, an opportunity to celebrate each other’s accomplishments and build strong family relationships. Here is an easy 6 step process to help you get started:
- Have each family member write down their financial goals using the SMART method. (Specific, Measureable, Adaptable, Realistic, and Time Bound).
- Start tracking your expenses and find out where your money is going.
- Calculate your monthly income.
- Record your fixed and flexible expenses.
- Find out if you are living on what you make by reviewing your expenses and reviewing your spending patterns.
- Stay on track with the UF IFAS Money Management Calendar.
Remember, that good money management is a habit. One way to establish good money management habits is with the use of a Money Management Calendar. In addition, the money management calendar will help you start the conversation with your loved ones. Likewise, it can help reduce the stress of not knowing whether or not you have enough money to pay your bills. It’s also a great way to identify triggers that might contribute to overspending.
For Additional Resources
For a Money Management Calendar or workshops on financial management, reach out to your local Family Consumer Sciences Extension Agent. Also, for more tips and money savvy strategies check out America Saves .