NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Finances for Young Families

Finances for Young Families

            Young families have a lot on their plate - growing a family, growing in their careers, outgrowing an apartment or starter home.   Young families may also believe that they have no need for financial planning as they have few finances to plan with.  There are goals though young families should strive for to insure their future financial security. 

             Pay yourself first – Paying yourself is a solid foundation of good family finances:  Decide how much you are going to save for emergencies, retirement and college.   Save some dollars out of every paycheck, bonus and raise.  It isn’t always the number of dollars saved but the consistency of saving over years that adds up. Automatic paycheck withdrawals are a time and money saver.

             Learn how to spend -  Most of us take the time to carefully research purchases of the “big stuff” – cars, homes, RV’s, etc. – but excess spending on the small stuff can spell failure for almost any budget.  Be especially careful with credit card debt.  One good habit is to not carry credit cards with you. Having to return home to retrieve a credit card gives you more opportunity to think about the value of what you are buying on credit.   

             Plan for the unexpected - Have adequate life insurance and an up-to-date will, and explore trust funds and other options with an estate attorney to ensure your assets will be protected and available to your child in case of your death.  Doing so isn’t being morbid or overly cautious; it’s simply good financial planning.  Have an emergency savings fund so if your job disappears tomorrow, you will not find you and your family on the street.  Being one paycheck away from disaster is true for too many Americans – don’t let it happen to you.

            Teach your children about money.  Family financial planning is not just for adults. Share with your child your own values about financial and material wealth. Your children will learn by watching how you handle finances.

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