Tips on how to Navigate Family Finances
Picture this: a mom, standing at the crossroads of financial chaos and the dream of a secure future for my family. I know this isn’t only a scenario in my life but many others too. This article is for every mom out there feeling stressed about being in the middle of all this mental chaos. I’m saying mental because we sometimes feel paralyzed not knowing which direction to head on to make sure we get to balance everything as we want it to be.
So, buckle up as I share the highs, lows, and aha moments on this rollercoaster ride to financial empowerment.
***But before all that, I just want to put this disclaimer up front that all the things below were thought of and done not by myself only. It was a family effort. My husband and I as the lead to look into our financial numbers and tagging along our daughters with having the discipline of knowing our priorities aka needs and wants. Now, let’s move on…
Understanding Our Financial Landscape
Once upon a time, in the bustling chaos of family life, I took a pause to truly understand our financial landscape. It wasn’t about numbers on a spreadsheet but unraveling the story behind each expense. It was an eye-opening moment, realizing how our money danced between priorities and whims. Having a degree in Finance, I knew how our numbers run should change.
Indeed, it’s really easy to fall into those marketing traps. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of money or not, it all falls back to how disciplined you can be into sticking to your priorities.
Categories and Priorities
As I delved deeper into budgeting, it became a journey of discovering our true priorities. It wasn’t just about creating categories; it was about crafting a narrative that reflected our family values. Cutting back on some non-essential spending felt like decluttering not just our budget but our lives.
It was at this point that I realized and went back to digging into my values. It was where I held onto whenever I had second thoughts on the way of living I chose to put my family into. From being more mindful in filling up our grocery basket with fresh produce rather than cans and boxes which may seem like not having any difference at all when it comes to our food expenses (or sometimes even making our bill higher) but if you take into account the benefits we get from eating healthy, then you’ll see that we get to spare ourselves from unexpected medical related situations (if you know what I mean).
Setting Realistic Goals
Now, let’s talk about goals. Short-term, long-term, and everything in between. I vividly remember setting a goal to create a safety net for the unexpected. Little did I know that this goal would become the protagonist in our financial story, providing a sense of security during stormy times. Our goal is our map to set ourselves into that certain level of stability. Life as we know, has tons of road bumps, but having that clear goal ahead of you makes it easier to navigate which way we need to go to reach the end.
Building the Emergency Fund
Life loves throwing curveballs, especially in the realm of motherhood. The “emergency fund” became our unsung hero, the silent guardian that eased our worries when unexpected expenses knocked on our door.
Monthly Budget – A Living Document
If there’s one misconception about budget/budgeting, that is that it makes you feel deprived and not enjoy life. WRONG! Or maybe that is because others define it wrongly. Anyway, if that’s how you feel, let me help you tweak that a bit and let you love budgeting as it’s something that can help save you tons to put your financial well-being in the right place.
Our monthly budget wasn’t a static plan; it was a living, breathing document. Picture it like a roadmap through the chaos of family life. Some months were smooth rides, while others had unexpected detours. Flexibility was the compass that kept us on track.
Did you get that? Budgeting should be a living one. Your budget is only your guide, be flexible with it and enjoy your money mindfully.
Involving the Whole Family
As mentioned in my disclaimer, I may address myself as the master of all this in the majority of this blog post but in reality, I’m really just 1/4 of why it’s been a success for our family. I’m saying a quarter because there the 4 of us in our family. My hubby and I, and our 2 daughters.
Budgeting ceased to be a solitary act; it became a family affair. Gathered around the kitchen table, we turned budget discussions into shared stories of financial responsibility. My kids became characters in this narrative, learning invaluable lessons about money and priorities.
Let’s talk about the art of saving money. It became an adventure, a game of creativity. From bulk shopping escapades to crafting DIY masterpieces, every penny saved added a new chapter to our frugal saga.
I guess this saga started when we moved to Singapore more than a decade ago. Living in one of the most expensive cities in the world and earning their minimum wage is no joke especially when you’re still starting. I remember our budget of SGD25 for a week for 2 adults eating 3 meals a day. haha…
I tell you, my creativity was put to a different level during those days. I would scourge all 3 major super supermarkets near our place during weekends to buy fruits from one, meat on the other, and fish the last. It would take me more time to hop from shop to shop but if there’s one thing I had during those times, it was time. All I need to do is make every cent of our dollars count. We never went hungry, we even had snacks at times but the number of meat and how I portion each pack of whatever product is always on point! haha..
I hope this article inspires you to reflect on your finances if your goal is to get your financial well-being into a better state. It always starts with having the guts to start, having the discipline to follow through, and making sure everyone is involved in your family.
If you have a story of your own that you want to share, feel free to write it in the comments below. Every story you tell is a brick in the bridge to financial empowerment for moms everywhere.
Picture this: a mom, standing at the crossroads of financial chaos and the dream of a secure future for my family. I know this isn’t only a scenario in my life but many others too. This article is for every mom out there feeling stressed about being in the middle of all this mental chaos.…