Managing Family Finances.
One of the backbone to sustaining a happy hope is the ability of both or either of the married partners to cater for the needs of the home. Although, this is ought to be the primary responsibility of the Patriarch of the home, the economic situation in which we find ourselves has made it imperative for wives to complement the efforts of their husbands where necessary. How then can one manage family finances? The following may be helpful:
• Draw up a Budget- A budget is a projection or planned estimate of your income and expenses. In other words, if you are into business, have projection of how much you normally earn in terms of revenue, and what you are likely going to spend in terms of expenses, and the excess is your profit. If you are a salary earner, that means you are working under a company or working as a civil servant. You either earn profit or salary/wages, depending on the category you find yourself. After you might have made profit or earned your salary/wages, how do you run your home with what you earn? Someone might say I have got a lot of bills to pay, so how do I manage my income?
• Pay your Tithe- One of the efficient ways to better manage your personal and Family finances is to first set aside one-tenth (1/10th) percent of your increase/income. It is a sure way to provident living to pay your tithe to God, and as you do so in faith, the Lord will take care of your needs.(Malachi 3:8-11)
• Prioritise your Spendings- One of the fundamental principles we learnt in elementary economics is the scale of preference. Which has to do with drawing up a list of our planned expenses by ranking them in order of their priorities to meet up with our needs bearing in mind that we have unlimited wants and desires.
• Be plain to your Spouse and to your Children when they become of age-One way to help you control unnecessary spending is to be plain to your spouse and Children. While some people might consider the issue of salary to be a sensitive issue, you will be doing yourself much good when you make your family members know how much you earn. This will help you avoid conflict in the home as your kids or wife would not put unnecessary pressure on you to purchase a particular article simply because their friend has it.
• Avoid Impulse buying- Many of us find it difficult to resist this practice. You walk up into a grocery store , just because you are attracted by a lot the articles on display, and then you begin to handpick as you like. When you entered that grocery store or supermarket, that chocolate or computer game, did you make an attempt to check if it was among your scale of preference? And if it was in your scale of preference, is it a need or a want? You just have to be financially disciplined!
• Avoid Unnecessary Debts- One unfortunate situation you can ever find yourself is when you engage in unnecessary debt. Why will you have to borrow just because you want to please your son or daughter so as to purchase a bicycle for him or her on her 10th birthday just to please her when your income and expenses cannot accommodate that? Why not buy a less expensive but presentable gift for the child? Why approach the bank for a loan that will be tied with interest just because you want to go on a family vacation? Learn to grow within your means. It is better to cut your coat according to your clothe!
• Food storage- When you get you pay, avoid buying food items that you consume on regular basis in bits and pieces. Instead engage in bulk buying, and make sure you have the storage facilities to do so. When you buy in buy, you enjoy discount from the seller, and you can save your family from lack in times of a dwindling economic situation. e.g,assuming you lose your job, and you are unable to find a job for more than four months? How will you cope? There testimonies of families who had food storage for close to a year’s supply. Which was a last resort to the family for six months when the father of the home lost his job. So you can learn to store food and prepare for the rainy day.
• Live a Healthy Lifestyle-It is often said that health is wealth. Learn to live a healthy life style, by ensuring that foods are hygienically prepared,and preserved. To help you live a healthy lifestyle, create time to engage in exercise to keep your body fit.When you live a healthy lifestyle,you will spend less on hospital bills.
• Invest in the Education of your Children- Now that you are still young and productive,invest in insurance palns that can guarantee the running cost of your children’s education when they become due to go to the University.Perhaps, at that time, you may have gone into retirement, and wont have the means to afford the payment of university education for your Children.This will enable your kids to fall-back on the insurance plan to ensure they have a quality and complete education.
• Engage in wholesome recreational activities- As a family, try and create time to have a wholesome recreational activity. This might be done monthly, or once in 2 months or quarterly, depending on your level of income. This activity must be planned, and ensure to factore in the sensitivities of every member of the family.
Conclusion: Managing Family Finances is one of the fundamental bedrocks to keeping a happy home as findings have shown that besides the incidence of infidelity, another factor that is responsible for broken homes is finance. As you try to apply these values you will have lesser burden to struggle with and the home will be a place of happiness.