Savings and Investment for the Family

The best, safest and most intelligent ways to save family money

Hi. If you have a family no matter how small or big or you plan to have one anytime in the future, this is for you.

Now, I can tell you for a fact that saving and investing your money wisely can make a huge and positive difference in the comfort of your family. But the honest truth is that family wealth management as a couple requires some form of give and take between spouses, especially if you’re both working and one partner is making more than the other. Even if you’re a single parent, we all want to have a reasonable amount of wealth to our name which will make us feel more confident about the future especially when we’re responsible for the well-being of others.

Now, before you started a family, you probably already had a savings and investments plan which you followed. Even if you didn’t, the finances of a family are a whole different matter and so it needs to be approached as such. The day you start saving and considering investment for other people you are responsible for is the beginning of a whole new approach to money. It is no more about just meeting your day to day needs or buying whatever you are interested in, it is also about having financial security and some measure of freedom per time.

So, first of all, you need to have a-

Savings accounts: Both in the long and short term, this is a great way to ensure that your family is taken care of regardless of any unforeseen circumstance. Pettysave can definitely help you with that. Even with this, the big questions remain:

‘As your family and household increase in size and needs, what are the best, safest and most intelligent ways to save that money?’

As a couple, if you have no children yet, you only have to think of bills for you and your partner but now is also a good time to start planning for when you will have children and also steer clear of all bad debts that tend to make life difficult the longer they last. Parents also need to start saving for children’s future and even retirement that might seem like a lifetime away if you’re still a young family. You can start a trust fund for the children and a retirement fund for you and your spouse. The times of living from paycheck to paycheck will end one day and the financial comfort you seek will only be possible if you plan for it now.

I agree that sometimes saving money can be difficult for a lot of families because it always seems like an unexpected cost arises at the wrong time. However, there are ways that you can save and even invest your money, no matter how little or how great. You can be proactive and start saving your money today. Never procrastinate savings! And don’t undermine the importance of investment. Of course, you need to discuss each of these with your partner so that you will both be on the same page about the plans for a future where you’re both stakeholders. So, here are different options to save more and to invest money wisely for the future of your family.

1. Know how much your spouse makes: Without this, you can’t plan how much to save and how much to invest.

2. Have a budget: As we’ve heard so many times, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So, make a budget and follow it faithfully because it’s one thing to create a budget, but if you don’t have the discipline to put it into action, it’s pointless. Also, no matter how much you earn, always spend less than you earn every month. This may seem like an obvious thing to do but there are many people out there who spend every Naira (₦) they make and are always dependent on their next pay check.

3. Save a fixed amount every month/ Start a family savings scheme: No matter how tight things get, make sure to always put something aside for the rainy day. The Pettysave Autosave feature can help you do this easily and painlessly. So, once you have registered your card, any amount you specify will be automatically deducted and saved for you. What’s more? You get interest on it monthly so you know the money is growing and you don’t need to transfer the money yourself and start second-guessing because you want to use the money every day. It always helps to save towards goals and have a separate emergency fund (everyone should have between three and six months of living expenses saved). Resist the urge to tap your savings or emergency fund for non-emergencies. Self-discipline is key because you are not thinking for only yourself, but an entire family that depends on you.

4. Start with Everyday Expenses: By cutting down on some expensive parts of the family’s lifestyle, a lot of money can be saved. For example, turning off lights when you leave a room or disconnecting major electricity using items like the TV when it’s not in use will add up over the course of the year and save you some cost, especially if you use a pre-paid meter. Investing in things like energy efficient light bulbs is another great way to save more money and conserve energy. It is also wise to avoid cigarettes and excessive alcohol intake. These expensive habits can run finances dry. You can also learn the 15 things to quit buying to save more money.

5. Investment: For this, you can invest in properties, real estate, stocks, mutual funds or money market instruments such as treasury bills. This has to be very strategic because you will consider how much extra cash you have to invest and where what you have will be most productive for you. You also need to think about how long you plan to put your money into a particular investment. At Pettysave, we can take the stress off you. All you need to do is use our Investment feature where we have interest rates ranging from 13% to 21%.

6. Life Insurance: You can see this as a fall-back option, if anything bad were to happen to you or those you love. I know nobody prays for anything bad to happen and by God’s grace, nothing bad will happen. Still, if you are saving for a family, it is a good idea to get yourself, your spouse and children (if you have) insured for a decent amount. This would protect you in the event of the other’s death. Many widowed men and women would have been better off today if they had gotten life insurance before the death of their spouse.

Also, be careful not to overspend on gifts or buy anything on impulse. The best way to avoid overspending is to make a shopping list and stick to it. Always open your bills when you get them so you can pay them up before they gather up and become too much to pay at once. Another good habit is to keep the money in your wallet to a minimum so you are moving with a consciousness that the cash with you mustn’t get exhausted. And…read all contracts before signing so you don’t mistakenly sign away your life or the lives of those who depend on you.

It also helps to have a food time-table so that you can effectively plan for and reduce your monthly food expenses. You can even request for your bank statement quarterly or bi-annually to check for errors and wrong charges so that you can get a refund.

One of the worst things you can ever do when it comes to financial planning to hope for an inheritance to solve your money problems. Don’t do it!

Even when shopping, check out price tags and compare prices before buying. It may feel a bit embarrassing sometimes but once you know the maximum you can spend, it’s easier to pick products with the most competitive pricing without batting an eyelid. You can also negotiate whenever the opportunity presents itself such as in an unorganized market setting like Balogun market, Yaba or Eko. Always remember than most vendors add excessive amounts on the actual price of products because they already expect you to negotiate. So…go ahead and negotiate.

Lastly, don’t forget to reward yourself for all your hard work by occasionally splurging on things you actually enjoy such as ice-cream, pizza, date night with babe, a new phone, a game box or whatever you like. Basically, and in summary, you need to treat your household like a business by actively managing finances and finding ways to maximize income to ensure current and future financial freedom for you and your family.

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