Personal Finance

Family Financial Planning Guide: How to Get It Right

December 1, 2022
Family Financial Planning Guide: How to Get It Right

When it comes to family financial planning, there is no one-size-fits-all solution—much like how your family is unique to yourselves. That said, there are some basic financial principles that can help any family work towards their financial goals. 

Creating a plan and making smart choices will help keep your family secure and able to accomplish their goals. Plus, in a family with young members, you can use these goals to educate your children about money, helping them make smart financial decisions as they age.

This financial counseling guide will walk you through the key steps to starting a solid financial foundation. 

How Do I Create a Financial Plan for My Family?

Put simply, a family financial plan is a road map that shows how a family can achieve its goals. 

With a well-crafted map, you’ll be prepared to make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls. Your family financial plan will consider the unique circumstances of each family member and develop specific strategies for saving, spending, and investing.

You can work with a financial planner for expert help, or document your family goals and use budgeting spreadsheets and apps to track spending, assets, and debt.

Step 1: Set Goals

What do you want to achieve financially, and in what timelines? Consider: 

  • Becoming debt-free or raising your credit score
  • Saving for a downpayment and closing costs on a house
  • Funding a child’s education
  • Starting a business
  • Retiring early

Once you have goals in mind, you can start to establish steps you need to take to reach them.

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Step 2: Create a Budget

A budget will help you figure out exactly where you’re at, where your money is going, and how to make changes. To set up a budget: 

  • Create or download a budget spreadsheet or app
  • Gather current financial documents (salary, benefits, account statements, etc.)
  • Fill out all the details you can for last month
  • Track your spending going forward

Your budget will show exactly where your money is going by category (groceries, restaurants, utilities, etc.). It’ll be the most helpful source to find opportunities to reduce discretionary spending and increase funds that support your goals and values. 

Step 3: Manage Debt

If you’re starting from here with debt to pay off, include it in your goals and budget. Going forward, avoid lifestyle debt and high-interest debt. 

For lifestyle debt, be mindful if your expenses are higher than your income. When they are, look through your current expenditures and find ways to spend less in each category. For high-interest debt, think credit cards, payday loans, and unsecured personal loans. Consider ways in which your family can avoid using these in the future.

Step 4: Save for the Future

Family wealth planning includes multiple savings tiers, two of which—emergency funds and retirement planning—are musts. Save for: 

  • Emergencies — Starting goal of $1,000, with an ideal total of three to six months’ salary
  • Retirement – Plan based on retirement age, desired income, and anticipated expenses
  • Education – Technical training or academic schooling; keep ROI in mind for these costs
  • Dedicated – Specific savings funds for housing, home improvements, vacations, etc.

Step 5: Grow Your Wealth

Ensure your total wealth gains value ahead of the inflation curve over time. This may include: 

  • Investing in a diversified portfolio that includes stocks
  • Adapting investment risk to economic changes and your retirement horizon 
  • Adding new income streams such as a home business
  • Taking advantage of tax incentives 

Step 6: Protect Your Assets

Insurance is a key part of your financial plan. You’ll need it to: 

  • Make up for lost income if an employed family member is injured or sick
  • Pay some or all costs if your home or autos are damaged
  • Protect you from lawsuits if someone is injured on your property

Step 7: Leave Behind a Lasting Legacy

Finally, estate planning is part of a financial plan that covers end-of-life issues. This may include: 

  • Willing property to named heirs
  • Setting up trusts to control assets 
  • Establishing charitable donations 

What Is the 50-20-30 Budget Rule?

Looking for a quick way to get on track? The 50-20-30 budget rule is a simple way to budget your money.1

From your total monthly income, allocate spending in this order: 

  1. 50% needs – Essential expenses, like housing, food, and transportation
  2. 20% goals – Savings and debt repayment
  3. 30% wants – Discretionary spending

Need to Convert Assets to Cash? 

Equity is the largest asset many families own, and it can help fund retirement travel, a business venture, assisted living, or pay off medical or other debt. If your budget is weighed down by debt or you’re looking to free up cash, accessing your home equity doesn’t mean you have to find a new place to live. 

Truehold's Sale-Leaseback option allows you to remain in your home and leverage its full value without taking on new debt. 

Instead of listing your property for sale, getting it updated for viewings, and paying traditional closing fees, you can quickly receive a competitive price for your home and stay in it for as long as you choose as a renter. When you sell your home to Truehold and lease it back, we cover the cost and stress of major repairs, covered maintenance, homeowners' liability, and property tax. 

Talk to one of our trusted financial advisors today to see if Truehold is the right solution for you. 

Source: 

1. The Balance. The 50/30/20 Rule of Thumb for Budgeting. https://www.thebalancemoney.com/the-50-30-20-rule-of-thumb-453922

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