As I watched the coverage of Hurricane Irma today I began to think of the importance of protection in one’s financial life. Are you and your family properly insured against loss? Not just loss from disastrous weather, but financially protected. Below are some ways you can protect your family from financial loss:
- Do you have proper life insurance? If you are married or have children, life insurance is a MUST! The loss of your life or the life of your spouse can trouble the financial waters in a hurry. Be sure you have adequate term life insurance. A good benchmark is about 10 times your annual income. Example: $50,000 salary = $500,000 in coverage.
- Do you have an Emergency Fund? A good starter emergency fund is $1,000. This should be in a savings account SEPARATE from your checking account. There are some online savings accounts that can be linked to your checking account.
- Do you have a will? Do not out an added stress on your survivors by not making your wishes known in a will. A decent will can be done by an attorney for $500-$1000. If you leave no will your survivors and heirs will be double whammied by the emotional loss of you and the extra stress of how to distribute our assets.
- Do you have health insurance? Living without health insurance can put tremendous stress on your life. Without health insurance you may neglect or ignore your health problems for financial reasons. The number one reason for bankruptcy is medical debt. Don’t put yourself and family under the stress of no health insurance.
What issue did I leave out? Please share in comments.
Here it is. My quick list of ways to win with money.
- Spend less than you make.
- Invest early.
- Live on a budget. For a great free budgeting program go to: EveryDollar.com All you need for set up is an email and a password.
- Don’t compare your wealth to others. Make goals that match your values.
- Make a very high income.
- Write down your financial goals.
- Work hard.
- Be disciplined. See my previous post.
- Save 10% of your income for retirement.
- Be united with your spouse about money.
- Educate yourself about money.
- Be content.
- Know your values.
- Create passive income streams.
- Invest in Real Estate.
- Own a business.
- Give to causes important to you.
- Define your financial priorities.
- Treat debt like a dreaded disease. Use the snowball method to attack your debt.
Planting Money Seeds shares how to achieve your investment goals.
Over at Money Manifesto he shares that delayed gratification is the key financial success.
Blonde and Balanced shares how to avoid rookie investment mistakes
Wise Dollar share 4 simple ways to start investing.
Financially Blonde reveals the role of desire in reaching your financial goals.
Dough Roller shares how to invest your first $10,000.
Over at Paying Debt Down he shares top 10 tips for couples to plan their finances together.
Managing money and marriage can be a delicate endeavor. Timing is important. Discussing a major financial decision right before bed may not be a good idea. My spouse and I made a pact to not discuss money on Sunday (God’s day) because we don’t want to set the day off in a negative direction. You also have to have money boundaries that work for the two of you. The two of you may decide on an amount of money (fun money) that you can spend without having to discuss it. Trying to micromanage your spouse’s spending is not going to have a positive outcome in most cases. It’s also important to discuss money goals. What do you both want to accomplish with the money you earn? Have you discussed retirement? Do you have adequate life insurance? If you have children….are you planning for college expenses? Do you have a budget? Which one of you crafts and maintains the budget? Not talking about significant money issues will NOT solve the problem. It’s not just what you say but HOW you say it. If things get too heated it’s OK to call a time out as long as you agree on another specified time to discuss the issue. Remember you are on the same team. Have you merged your two paycheck into 1 checking account? Do the two of you operate from separate accounts? What bills get paid from each account? The two of you may want to have a Money Date. This is an opportunity to discuss money issues specifically. You don’t have to go to a restaurant. You can have the date on your front porch if you wish.
Money Talk Guidelines:
- Use a civil tone of voice
- Discuss one topic at a time
- Agree to research a topic and bring it back later
- Don’t play the blame game
- Take responsibility for poor decisions
- Be willing to forgive each other for mistakes
- Be consistent in scheduling money talks (at least once a month)
- Listen closely to each other
- Remember that you both are on the same team
Discussing money issues in your marriage can be both challenging and rewarding. It is my hope that suggestions in this post can help guide your money conversations. What talking tips could you add to my list? Feel free to share your tips in the comments.