Tips to Begin Effective Family Financial Planning

Every family needs a plan for their finances. This may not be possible without some sort of family financial planning.  It is possible for a family to rely on individual ideas while handling financial goals. However, a unified thought process and collective decision making are essential for good success as a unit. Like 75% of Americans who handle their own finances, you and your family may not need an expert to manage your money. However, you will need to do it together. Financial plans as a family can take care of issues like starting a business, settling debts, paying for a vacation, providing for an elderly relative, or acquiring a home through a mortgage. 

Seeking the opinions of each family member is a healthier way to actualize your joint fiscal vision. Lack of confidence and indecision might be reasons why some members of the family hesitate to air private opinions.  Still, these setbacks can be handled if the family members decide to take a bold step and plan together. As a family, you need to be smart about money and get acquainted with the fundamental steps to get financial success. 

There may well be a positive financial future for the family, but nothing will happen without that initial communication. Now, for the family to meet and combine ideas, one or two members of the family will need to make the first move or moves. This person could be anyone in the family- parents, kids, or other members if it is an extended family. Having called everyone to order, a meeting can be set up to initiate family financial planning.

Family Financial Planning Before Meeting Checklist

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  1. Meet Family Members Individually: You could reach out to individual family members on your invitation list. Discuss with them to determine if the idea is a welcome one. If they have issues with the time and date, then consider adjusting the meeting’s schedule. During the adjustment, ensure that other members accept the newly fixed date, time, and venue. During the individual session, persuade them to draft out their personal finance goals. Use a known family that has actualized their financial goals as motivation. This will encourage your own family to participate in the coming family conversation willingly.
  2. Organize a Planning Committee: Irrespective of the size of your family, select one or two members that will constitute the planning committee. This will free other members of the day-to-day planning responsibilities like setting an agenda or some financial research.
  3. Constantly Remind the Family Members About the Conversation: The planning committee must always send out notifications to the invited members to remind them of the meeting. This notification can be sent as a message, phone call, fax, or any other comfortable means. Also, inquire if they have any opinion to include in the agenda before the official date.
  4. Fix a Date, Venue, and Time for the Conversation: As the organizer, there is a need to decide a location and time for the conversation that works for everyone. If your family members are staying in distant locations, choosing a venue that will favor everybody is key. It is advisable to study the daily activities of your family members, before concluding on the exact time and date. 

Looking to Build a Positive Financial Legacy for Your Family? These Tips will Help in Your Next Meeting

Once the family financial planning meeting begins, these tips will help in effectively formulating an action plan that works.

  1. Prioritize Everyone’s Opinion: Remember, this is a family affair. Endeavor to write down everybody’s input during the meeting. Don’t disparage any idea or suggestion made by any member of the family. 
  2. Create Room for Everyone to Participate: Since we are all unique in different ways, our worldviews follow suit. Create an avenue that will enable everyone to air their views. From all of these, vital methods and ideas can be selected for onward action.
  3. Set Your Financial Goals: Once family members are together for a financial conversation, set fiscal or money goals. This goal will serve as a guide for having a successful financial year. Be sure that you all do not set an unrealistic goal or goals that will discourage the family. Ensure that your goals can be actualized.
  4. Critically Analyze Everybody’s View, and Then Decide on How to Implement the Idea: After you have gathered different opinions from every member, analyze the ideas. Allow everyone to suggest the best workable input.
  5. Let the Members Decide: As the name implies, family financial planning involves everyone in the family. Allow all members to jointly decide on what they think will work out. If there are two good ideas, encourage the members to vote on their idea of choice. Ensure that members conclude on this before proceeding.
  6. Conclude Work on an Achievable Budget: After concluding on a particular idea, ensure that there’s a solid budget plan that will help to accomplish the idea. The budget must be analyzed critically before concluding on a specific amount. You can research individuals or families that have achieved a similar feat before. This will serve as a guide towards making a realistic budget.
  7. Include Plans for an Emergency Fund: It’s an excellent idea to institute an emergency fund for the family. Mistakes or an unplanned financial need may arise. The emergency fund will play a vital role in such a case. Making plans for emergencies can include deciding just how much should be allocated for emergency funds in the first place. 
  8. Decide on a Workable Tracking Plan: A good monitoring plan will guide you in achieving good goals implementation. It will expose the loopholes that could hinder your financial progress. 
  9. Discuss Individual Contributions: The family will decide on the general contributions to be made individually. These contributions work towards the agreed monthly or annual budget targets. Be sure to take note of individual income. There is nothing wrong with high-income members contributing more, as far as everyone agrees.
  10. Create Room for Donations: Some well-to-do family members may decide to make extra donations, hence the need for an option making this possible and easy.
  11. Discard Poor Ideas: Not every idea will be financial gold. Family financial planning must dispassionately choose only the best approaches. Objectively reject ideas that may negatively affect the success of the plan.
  12. Discuss Financial Management: Suggest the best way to manage the contributed capital. Also, don’t fail in encouraging the family about cutting down their expenses, generally and individually. Along the line, the need for more contributions may well arise. Cutting down on their daily expenditure will enable everyone to make extra contributions when necessary.
Photo Credit: geralt (Pixabay)

There is every need for family financial planning, no matter the size of your family. Getting into the saddle and initiating the same will make for a prosperous future for you and your family. Naturally, you must be sure to implement the outcome of the meeting.

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