Financial Planning Tips For Couples About To Start A Family

Couples, especially newlywed ones, would usually enjoy a bit of financial windfall for the first few months or years of their marriage. This is mainly due to the fact that two people are now sharing the expenses on food, utilities, and other expenditures. There are also more opportunities for couples to save money since they have lesser expenditures to pay for.

This happy situation can easily turn sour though when couples are expecting their first child. With this new bundle of joy come various additional expenses that parents will sometimes find it hard to cope with their financial needs and even adjust their lifestyle.

Couples, though, don’t need to find themselves broke simply because they are expecting or already have their newborn baby. Below are some useful financial planning tips couples about to start a family can follow:

Start living a simpler lifestyle. It is not unusual for newlywed or childless couples to have date nights once or twice a week wherein they have dinner at a fancy restaurant and give each other lavish gifts. They will also go on vacations abroad once or twice a year because they want to get some rest and relaxation and because they “deserve it”. Unfortunately, all of these will have to change or even stop once a couple is expecting a baby. All the money you will save from these activities or events can go to something more important like payment for the hospital bills, medicines and vitamins, diapers, and other expenses that come before and after the baby’s birth. The last thing you want to happen is to be covered in debt just because you are expecting a baby. You can avoid this problem by living a simpler lifestyle once you know that you are expecting.

Anticipate your expenses. Make a list of all your anticipated expenses. These include hospital bills, doctor fees, maternity clothes, birthing classes, and necessities for the baby (a crib, stroller, feeding bottles, blankets, etc.). Then, calculate the total. You now have to rework the budget you and your partner are currently on to include this cost. Expect that there will be expenses that have to be added in the future but don’t fret; you will be able to figure them out as you go.

Increase your emergency fund. If you already have a safety financial net, you and your partner or spouse should now work on increasing it. Financial advisors recommend having six-to-nine months of living expenses set aside in case of job loss, which can become more of a problem if one spouse is at home on childcare duty. Look at your budget again and figure out how much you can afford to put into an emergency fund after all the basic necessities are covered.

6 Reasons Why Financial Planning Is Important

The old adage “save for the rainy day” holds absolutely true in real life. This does not mean that you should discard spontaneity. Living in the moment and enjoying it to the fullest has its own charm. However, unseen emergencies do not send a warning before occurring. Planning ensures a better and a more secured life. More and more people are choosing to gain awareness about organizing their funds and income sources.

If you are habitual of an extravagant lifestyle, it is crucial to understand the importance of financial planning. Thinking about financial management in advance can prevent a lot of chaotic situations in future. Here is why it is essential to start planning your finances in life as early as possible.

Sets Your Budget

Having a plan etched out for your monthly expenditure eases a lot of your mental hassles. When you have a clear stalk of all the bills you need to pay in a month, you become more organized. You can set out a stipulated budget for the month and stick to it. This will not only ensure the commencement of payments on time, but will also keep you aware of your spending limit. Most of the time, you will be within your monthly budget, unless something inevitable pops up.

Prepares For Future Expenses

Financial gurus and experts agree that people must start saving money as early as possible. Saving does not depend on the amount of income which an individual gets every month. Irrespective of how much money he or she earns, it is recommended to save at least 25% of the total income every month. Planning finances in advance, gives you a clear idea of your monthly saving, after meeting all the expenses.

Gives Financial Security to Family

Raising a family leads to widening of your expenditure. Money for education, basic living, entertainment, vacations and others require a prominent amount of saving beforehand. Becoming financially secure is a result of wise investments and savings. Financial planning will make you invest in lucrative schemes, and helps you become financially abundant. Hence, your family needs are never put on hold.

Manages Tax Payment

Having a clear account of all your expenses, amount of saving and number of investments is good. Besides that, you also get to know the amount of tax, which you are liable to pay as per your income scale. You will never miss tax deadlines, which will save a lot of unnecessary mental stress.

Facilitates Ready Cash Availability

Having your finances in good shape also means, that you have a lump sum amount of hard cash, always available at your disposal. There are certain situations where payment through debit or credit card is not acceptable. In such situations, you will require physical money. Being financially planned will enable you to have this requisite.

Understand Money

Two exuberant seven-year old kids were disappointed by their parents’ inability to provide enough money for all their needs. They strongly believed that their parents must be getting some basic things wrong. They wanted money by all means and wondered why everybody they met was portraying money as a scarce commodity.

In the usual characteristics of children, they resolved to solve the money problem by designing and printing their own money! They got unto their computer with a mint $ 100 bill note and began the process of designing their own $ 100 bill note. They made a very good job of their design and were in the process of commissioning a mass printing contract when the father of one the kids saw a copy of the colored printout of their creative endeavor. He was shocked, confused, and scared all at the same time. ‘Where did you get this from’! He shouted. What has gone over you? Who gave you the idea? Have you joined a gang? Questions flowed freely from the father who somehow believed the police can come in and arrest him and the children any moment.

In a repentant but unconvinced manner the kid tried to explain his frustrations about his father inability to provide enough money at home and his decision to end the problem once and for all. With better understanding of his son’s role in the whole saga, the father calmed down and explained the illegality and danger of the boy’s actions and gave suggestions on better ways of managing his money frustrations.

Most adults will dismiss the kids’ actions as immature and unrealistic. But according to Robert Conklin, “men often do not really grow up from childhood emotions, they only change the form of its expressions”. The desire for money and the lack of understanding expressed by these kids are often manifested in a different form in the life of most adults. Armed robbery, pen robbery, different types and styles of begging for money, money-oriented power struggles are all manifestations of the same childhood tendency expressed by the kids.

What is Money?

Money! Everybody wants it; nobody wants to lose it; most people don’t have enough of it; only very few people understand it! The question is: What is money? The dictionary defines money as an officially recognized medium of exchange of value. Money is also defined as a measure of value. You will notice that the central or key word in the two definitions above is VALUE. The word value means usefulness, benefits, or solutions to problems. Money can therefore be redefined as a medium of exchange of benefits or solutions. Money is a measure of usefulness or benefits.

The implication of this new definition is quite profound. Going by the new definition of money, it is impossible for money to exist without value. Money is to value what shadow is to an object. While it is possible for an object to exist without shadow, it is impossible for shadow to exist without object!

Dead Money

Money without corresponding value is dead! The reason why most people are perpetually poor is because they are trying to hold onto money without offering corresponding value. It is like trying to romance a dead body.

Death is usually preceded by sickness characterized by specific symptoms. In any economy, inflation and devaluation are symptoms of sick money. When money dies it is called economic depression or economic recession. The death of money is always followed by burial ceremonies and rites called staff downsizing and stock market crashes. Money will always be readjusted to the corresponding value or benefit it represents.

Why People are Poor

Money was created because of value; therefore value is superior to money. Before money was invented, value was exchanged through trade by barter. You are not poor because you don’t have money, you are poor because you lack value or you cannot recognize your value. When you do not have money, if you can recognize, organize and skillfully exchange your values, money will flow into your life automatically!

No Value, No Money

Value is superior to money in so many ways. First, money can fail while value cannot. During major wars, people often reject money as means of exchange and prefer other tangible things of value such as food, bullets, and guns as medium of exchange. Also, money often has limited geographical relevance. For instance, irrespective of the volume of dollar note you have in your possession, once you cross over to Germany, you cannot buy anything unless you first exchange the money to its euro equivalent.

To attract and retain money in your possession therefore requires the possession and accumulation of significant amount of value. This is because value is to money what river is to a dam of water; once the river stops flowing, the dam eventually runs dry. Value is the root, money is the fruit; once the root is dead, the fruits will eventually cease. It is therefore impossible to permanently cure poverty by the accumulation of large amount of cash or physical assets that are not connected to equivalent sustaining source of value. It is impossible to steal money to create enduring and guaranteed generational wealth. It will not happen. Somewhere along the line, the wealth will suddenly disappear.

Be Aware of Your Riches

While it is impossible to possess enduring wealth without the possession of value, it is possible to acquire and be in possession of large amount of value and still lack money. This looks like a paradox, but that is the reality about money. The truth is that you cannot take advantage of a resource you are not aware of, irrespective of its value or quantity. Do you know that mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, crude oil etc were lying dormant and unused sometimes for thousands of years before they are eventually discovered by citizens of a nation? The nation can as well wallow in poverty and suffer deprivation as long as they are ignorant of the existence of the value hidden somewhere in the soil of their nation. Most people are poor and suffer financial deprivation, not because they lack value but because they are yet to discover the vast amount of immeasurable assets buried in their minds. The greatest and most valuable resources to be discovered is not buried in the soil but buried inside you; the day you discover it, is the day you begin to take advantage of its benefits!

Quite Rich, Yet Poor

Finally, it is possible to possess a lot of value, have awareness of these values and still lack its money equivalent in your life. This is because money is not given for the value possessed by a person; money is always exchanged for the value delivered as solutions to peoples problems. You will notice that the richest people in the world are not university professors or people with longest chain of certifications. The richest people in the world are those who find the means of delivering and exchanging their value (products) to the greatest number of people in the shortest possible time period. Look at the business owned by people like Bill Gates, Ted Turner, and Oprah Winfrey; you will notice a common trend about all of them. They all deliver their products through the widest channels possible to thousands of customers, who gladly give money in exchange for the value received.