Saving for the future is an important part of all our lives, especially when you have a family to think about. While it can be more than a little intimidating to think about the future and look at your current expenditure with a critical eye, it is an essential part of life.
Saving can mean different things to different people, but the most important element is that you regularly put away as much as you can afford to do, without disrupting your lifestyle in a negative way. To help you get in the right frame of mind, here are a few simple tips on how to approach your family savings.
When you have a family, dealing with your savings is an important part of your relationship. It can be difficult to talk about money, especially when one of you is earning significantly more than the other, but it is a conversation that needs to happen. The sooner it does, the sooner you can start saving.
While creating a shared savings pot might seem like the simplest way to do things, this can be where discrepancies in income can start to wear thin. It may also cause potentially complications further down the line if you and your partner go your separate ways. Discussing your savings regularly but maintaining them independently can be a good solution to this. This keeps responsibility and control of the savings in your own hands but opens discussion and planning to your partner.
Maintaining your savings independently also has the added benefit of diversifying how you are keeping your savings; this reduces the potential impact of any changes to the market. Basing your saving input on percentages can also help to balance out any discrepancy. For example, if you both agree to input 5% of your income this will appear fairer to both parties than if saving input is decided on raw numbers.
It is not just enough to squirrel your money away! Responsibly investing or utilising bond schemes can help you to grow your savings further. Utilising a savings account like an ISA, joining an investment fund, picking up shares in a FTSE100 are all reasonable ways to develop your savings. Don’t forget, there are cash back offers in place when you sign up for certain ISA schemes. However, when investing you should always remember that you may get back less than you put in. Diversifying your investments and using a variety of different strategies will help to protect against any losses, but profit is not guaranteed.
Adjust your saving plan regularly
Goals and desires develop and change over our lifetimes, so it is only right that your saving plan should change as well. Revisit your savings plan regularly and update it to reflect what is going on in your life and the wider world.
Pay increase? Up your contributions. Market concerns putting your investments at risk? Invest elsewhere or restructure your portfolio. Saved enough to give the kids a good start in life? Set new targets. Your saving plan should be just as alive as the rest of you, make sure to keep it up to date and you’ll never be caught by surprise.
Thinking about your finances is difficult, but the good news is that in the long run you always gain from the time you put in now.
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