Monday 11 December 2023

Financial Resolutions for a Prosperous New Family Year

**Collaborative Feature**

Of course, Christmas is still ahead of us – but that doesn’t mean that the end of the year isn’t approaching rapidly, either. So, as we bid farewell to the old and welcome the new once more, it’s also a great time and opportunity to reflect on our goals and aspirations. Especially, when it comes to our finances – which after health is the second most common category that other fellow Brits will make a resolution in 2024 for, too. And just in front of the third most important to us: our family. 

And that’s it – especially for young families with kids like us. Managing our money wisely is crucial for building a secure and prosperous future – for us and our children. So, if you are one of the 29% wanting to improve their finances – here are some tips on how to get there.

Create a Budget – And Really Stick to it!

Now, this is the most obvious one – because it simply is the best to do. The foundation of any sound financial plan is always going to be a well-structured budget. Take the time to sit down and list all your monthly expenses, including groceries, bills, childcare costs – just everything. Allocate specific amounts for each category and make a conscious effort to adhere to your budget throughout the year. This will not only help you keep track of your spendings, but it’ll also show you areas where you can safe or optimise. Sticking to it really is the crucial point, and I can’t emphasise this enough. Getting used to it can be difficult at the beginning, and that is okay. Like every other habit, this needs to be built up first and requires consistency. 

Prioritise Debt Repayments and Emergency Funds

Of course, life is unpredictable – especially with kids around. Unexpected expenses can arise at any time, and having to dip into debt might not always be something that can be avoided. For this, establishing an emergency fund should be a top priority. Ideally, it’ll contain at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses.  It should sit in a readily accessible account, and you can even couple it with it benefiting your credit score at the same time. It’s a fantastic safety net, providing peace of mind during challenging times. Don’t worry, though, if it sounds like a mammoth project at first; saving small, but stable amounts each month is worth a lot more than bigger amounts every now and then. Important is, that you start.
Similarly, if you already have outstanding debt, make it a goal to reduce and eliminate them in the coming year as best as you can. High-interest debts, such as credit card balances, can be a significant financial burden to carry around. We recommend devising a repayment plan and allocating a portion of your monthly budget to clearing them. It’ll not only save you money on interest, but also free up funds for other financial goals further down the line. 

Invest in Your Child’s Future

For young families, investing into your children is a crucial aspect of financial planning. You could, for example, consider opening a dedicated education savings account, such as a Junior ISA, to already save for their higher education expenses. Remember: consistent contributions over time can help ease the financial strain of education costs when the time comes. The earlier you start, the better. 

Most Importantly: Stay Realistic

Always establish clear, but also achievable goals for the upcoming year. Whether it’s saving for a family vacation, a home down payment, or retirement planning – having specific target can keep you motivated and focuses on your financial journey. But they also must be realistic. You can help with this, by breaking down larger goals into smaller ones, for example, creating more manageable steps to make your progress more attainable. 
Already setting up only a few of those resolutions can pave the way for a prosperous new year. Try to make informed and intentional choices about your money management – and stay in control of it every step of the way. Cheers to a year of financial growth and prosperity!


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