Mastering your family finances can be the key to a happy lifestyle, allowing you to fully enjoy the fruits of your labour.
However, there are many different aspects relating to finances that you must organise if you are to truly keep them under control.
By implementing a few simple financial strategies, it is entirely feasible to have a system in place that will make money management seem like a breeze.
Read on to find out our five top tips for mastering your family finances.
Master your personal finances
Many families don’t operate from joint bank accounts, so ensuring that each individual’s personal finances are in order is hugely important.
Setting up a separate account used purely for household bill payments is a great way to get to grips with all of your outgoings.
Each person with a responsibility for bills should pay in a proportion of their salary into this pot to ensure that everything is covered.
There are three main areas you must consider when calculating what you need to set aside – essential expenses, lifestyle expenses, and savings & investments.
Approximately 50% of what you spend should be on essentials such as utility bills, food, and mortgage, while another third will go items like travel and mobile phones.
The remainder of this pot should be put towards savings and investments, helping to ensure that you have money tucked away for your future.
Keep an eye on your outgoings
Once you have determined what you need to siphon away from your personal accounts to keep your family finances on track, it is important to monitor their progress.
Use your online banking system or a money management app to keep on top of things and this will help you to remain a master of your finances.
Although you will be working to a budget plan, it is important to remember that expenses can fluctuate during the year.
Make sure that you stay alert in respect of your main outgoings and don’t lose sight of chances to save money should the opportunity arise.
It can pay huge dividends to open accounts with a handful of price comparison sites, helping to ensure that you’re always on the cheapest deals for your main outgoings.
Whenever you’re negotiating with a supplier remember that you are the one with the power. It costs companies more to attract new customers than retain existing ones, so play this card to your advantage.
Involve your children in money matters
If your household contains children it is important to teach them about mastering finances from an early age.
Many kids are shielded from financial matters when they are young and this can cause issues when they reach adulthood.
Opening a kids’ bank account is a great way to get them started, giving them a level of financial responsibility while they are still young.
Encourage your kids to make regular deposits and show them how their money can grow when interest is applied to the account.
Involve them in discussions about household outgoings too, as this will open their eyes to just how much things cost.
This will give them a greater appreciation of money and will undoubtedly be a lesson they can take forward into adult life.
Be smart with your savings
Whether you’re saving for a new car or building up a retirement pot, it pays to be savvy when it comes to putting money aside.
The savings and investments industry is flooded with different products, so spend time researching the ones that best suit your needs.
Ensure that you’ve got short, medium and long-term savings pots on the go, as this will help you to cover all eventualities.
Your short-term savings should be easily accessible and used for unforeseen emergencies as and when they arise.
Medium-term savings may be for items such as cars or holidays, while long-term investments will ensure you can enjoy retirement.
Being smart with your savings will help you make the most of your money and give you the opportunity to enjoy life to its fullest.
Arm yourself with knowledge
Benjamin Franklin once said that ‘an investment in knowledge pays the best interest’ and that certainly rings true with regards to finances.
Many companies exploit people’s ignorance when it comes to financial matters, so it can pay to stay ahead of the game.
Spend time online each month reading updates from the financial world, keeping yourself up-to-speed with the latest developments.
Sign-up for email alerts from some of the excellent money advice sites that contain a plethora of useful information you can use throughout the year.
Financial experts like Martyn Lewis and Dave Ramsey are well worth following on social media, as they provide handy tips you can incorporate into your financial routine.
Arming yourself with knowledge is a surefire way to ensure that you will become a master of your family finances.
This content is sponsored by Michael Black.