photo by PPDigital
This week, I will be writing on the topic of New Year's Resolutions, looking at my resolution subsets each day for my usual daily topics. Today, I discuss resolutions related to Family Finances.
When I "retired" from full time work after the birth of my eldest, I became the CFO of my family. I felt it ironic that suddenly I, who brought no income to the table for many years, had complete control of our family's financial outlook. But it also gave me a sense of peace - I knew exactly what was going in and out of our accounts and that we would be able to sacrifice my income to enable me to be home with our baby. A few years ago, I tried to give the task of bill paying back to my wonderful husband, and he graciously declined. In truth, ours is a shared approach. Greg handles taxes (yuck!), investments and retirement and I handle the nuts and bolts stuff. Thanks to careful planning, we were able to take our recent family vacation and use cash for nearly every expenditure - it feels great not to be living in fear of the January Visa bill. The experience has made me anxious to continue to wean us off of plastic money (except the debit card, which I find ultimately convenient) in the New Year.
For the year 2008, my personal resolutions with respect to family finances include the following:
- Credit or Debit? Debit, unless it is absolutely impossible. We have never carried a balance on our credit cards, but it's so nice when smaller bills roll in at the end of the month.
- Continue to monitor our family's credit reports. Since my experience with identity theft last spring, I have become hawk-like in monitoring my credit report. This year, I intend to do the same for my husband's, and to begin to monitor my children's as well.
- Begin to teach the concepts of family finance to my sons. We've been lazy in this respect. Our boys have never had allowances and only have small bank accounts. With their quickening march towards independence, now is the time to teach them the basics of stewardship, savings, and living according to a budget.