When I started getting into trouble I became pretty acclimated to legal procedures. Calling my attorney and working out bail was just another way to spend a Saturday night. Unfortunately, the stiffer the charges, the more difficult it was to talk my way out of a bad situation. After so many charges, I found myself slapped with a long jail sentence, and I realized that I wanted to turn things around. Fortunately, my lawyer was able to walk me through yet another process, so that I could make the right changes. My blog discusses how to emotionally cope with legal issues so that you can start living a good life.
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Financially, taking care of your family's needs can feel like a juggling act at times. According to a 2015 Bank of Montreal study, nearly a quarter of all Canadians live paycheque to paycheque. This can be stressful and financially risky, but there are some things that can be done to help keep your finances under control. Here are five things all families should be doing with their money to keep from getting into financial trouble.
Making and using a budget
Budgeting is a simple but often neglected part of managing family finances. If you're overwhelmed by the idea of creating a budget, you may need one more than you realize. If you don't know where your money goes every month, you're setting yourself and your family up for financial disaster.
Even a basic budget is better than none at all, so begin with listing every expense you have for the month along with the amount of money you need for each item on the list. Total these amounts to see what you need to earn in order to maintain your current lifestyle, and compare this with your actual income. If you earn more than you need, you're on the right track, but if you earn less, you need to reduce your spending by reducing or removing items from your budget.
Involve your children in the budgeting process, if possible. This will help them see how important it is to manage your money on a day-to-day basis.
Anything above what you need to meet your budget should be put into a savings account, not spent. Every family should have an emergency fund in a savings account that will cover 3-6 months' worth of basic living expenses. This will protect you if you lose your job or another financial disaster strikes.
Teach your children about money from an early age
Financial education needs to begin at home from an early age. Children who understand the value of earning and saving money won't be as likely to make poor financial choices when they're older. Many schools have eliminated basic financial education classes, so even older children and teens may not be learning as much as you think about managing money.
Teens especially need to learn good money management skills. Learning how to manage money responsibly from an early age will help them plan for a stable financial future and avoid things like excessive debt and even help them avoid bankruptcy later in life.
Live within your means
Set a good example for your children and learn to differentiate between your family's wants and needs. Explain that wants can be budgeted for, but you need to meet your basic needs first. Also, understand that financing wants (or needs) on credit is irresponsible because you may not be able to pay the money back for a long time, which means you'll incur interest on your spending. It's very easy to get into debt, but very difficult to get back out, so make sure your family understands how to live the lifestyle that you can afford instead of the one you want.
Planning for the future
Saving for an emergency is important, but so is planning for the future. Will your children need money to pay for school or college? What are your plans for retirement? Are you saving enough money to be able to enjoy spending time with your family during retirement, or will you have to keep working just to keep the lights on? Involve your children in this planning as much as possible, as long as they're old enough to understand it. It will help them understand that money must be managed early on if you want it to work for you later.
Blind spending and lack of planning can put your family in dire financial straits, so make sure you take charge of your finances so your family will have a brighter financial future.Share