Family finance

Family finance

It is important to have a good understanding of your family finances and to manage them effectively as a parent. Planning and organising your finances will free you up to focus on other aspects of your family life as well.

Financial goal setting

It’s a practical idea to set some financial goals for your family. Make a list of them first. Do you want to save enough to put a deposit on a home or to plan a family holiday?

Identify what it is you want to achieve and then prioritise them accordingly. Some goals will be more important than others and should be treated appropriately.

Auditing your spending

If you don’t do it already, you need to set aside some time to go over your income and spending habits for the past few months. You can use an app such as icompta, or do it manually on a piece of paper.

It can be quite confronting to see what your outgoings are but this is also helpful in helping you decide whether or not you need to change your spending habits.

Use a budget planner

Once you’ve audited your spending habits, you then need to set up a budget planner. You need to record all the money that is coming in whether that is on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. This may include your salary payments, interest earned from bank accounts or tax refunds. Next, you need to record all your outgoings. You can usually do this by collating all your receipts and recording the totals that way.

You can use the advice on our Budget Planner here to help you set one up to keep you on top of managing your finances.

Find a good financial planner

It is worth spending time with a good financial planner to help you with managing your finances. They can help you with setting and achieving your financial goals and provide you with practical tips for managing your money as well. Make sure you shop around before choosing one. Don’t be afraid to ask them about who their other clients are and the services they offer. Ask them the following questions to ensure you are getting the best possible advice:

  • Are they registered on the Financial Service Providers Register? New regulations in New Zealand mean advisors must now be registered or licensed.
  • Do you recommend products only from one company or do you recommend a broad range of services and products that I can use?
  • How do you make your money? Ask exactly how your financial advisor is being paid by asking for a fee breakdown in writing. That way you will know how much they are making whether it is by commission on products or service fees.

For more information on getting financial advice in New Zealand, visit the Financial Markets Authority website.